Basu Chatterjee's 1978 romance, Dillagi, is a quaint little wonder set in a small town. It deals with everyday people and their lives. Amidst all the humdrum of daily living, the director places two souls whose lives are changed by love. This film turned out to be such a sweet sensation that I'd recommend it to everybody. It's soft, sensitive, funny in parts and most importantly happy. It reinforces my belief in love and that when it is time, every person meets the person who he or she is bound to fall in love.
Is Phoolrenu really insensitive? Is she really incapable of love? Swarnkamal doesn't think so. He relentlessly pursues her in his own way; not the robust lover here, but the soft intellectual and patient kind, hoping to get a positive answer.
Swarnkamal uses a clever ploy to test her feelings. He visits her ancestral home in Kashipur and sees for himself that she is happy to see him. Yes, Phoolrenu is no more the insensitive soul incapable of feeling romantic. She too now wants her share of love. She has decidedly made her choice for a life partner. BUt the matter is not settled yet. She will make Swarnkamal go through another series of incidents before the knot can be tied. And this unravelling of events is engaging, comic and bears results.
The music of the film (by Rajesh Roshan) is tepid. Not that I complain. The narrative is so interesting that I'd rather have no songs to cut into the plot. The film is better off without them. Perhaps only a few songs, speaking of Phoolrenu's true state of heart could have just been planted.
One thing did baffle me of course. why would Chatterjee waste an actor like Shatrughan Sinha with such a miniscule role. He deserved better for sure.
Basu Chatterjee was taking on a difficult text when he decided to direct Dillagi. For, Bimal Kar's story has a very nuanced approach in terms of the feelings of a woman and the whole perspective of love as seen from a man's and woman's point of view. But he did a commendable job. Go see for yourself...