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Thursday, 21 June 2012

Songs that melt (Sunny)

The last time I was watching Raj Khosla's Sunny, I was in Class 8. And, I had my final examinations starting the day after! But, the movie-buff that I was, I just couldn't resist the temptation. It was a pleasant afternoon and RD Burman's score, Sharmila Tagore's pretty face, Waheeda Rehman's histrionics and the beginning of a good emotional drama was too much. However, the experience was cut short by my father, who woke up from his afternoon siesta and hollered out to me to switch off the television and sit down with my books. I did so right away. And yes, I kept sulking right away, too. Hmmm, the life of a student...
Now things are different. I can watch films anytime of the day. Well, maybe not just anytime, because there are still scores of chores to do. But what's the harm in thinking so! At least, I do not have to shun the films for some examinations!

Anyways, so yesterday I completed my watching of Sunny. Well, and I do have some observations to put across about the 1984 film. I had completely forgotten that this was directed by Raj Khosla. So, when yesterday I saw the director's name on the screen I let out a surprised gasp. Yes, I sat down expecting quite a film. Because I am immensely fond of Khosla's repertoire. Almost all his films are good to watch, especially the thrillers and the family dramas. Well, he missed it sometimes. But on the whole this man knew his art. And even in Sunny, the director starts off rather boldly.
Inderjeet (Dharmendra) is a rich businessman with a yen for flying his private plane. He is married to Gayatri (Waheeda Rehman) but the marriage has been fruitless. This has driven Inderjeet to the arms of a beautiful courtesan called Sitara (Sharmila Tagore) who incidentally is an awesome singer, too. Aah RD Burman's two most lovely ghazals are lipsynced by Sharmila here. Asha's rendition of Jaaney kya baat hain and Aur kya ehdey wafaa leave me mesmerised everytime.
Inderjeet comes home late every night after spending time with Sitara (he also records her songs). Sitara is not aware of his marital status. And Gayatri thinks he has been busy with work. It's not that Inderjeet is bad to his wife but he is a sad man. He wants to become a father but he knows that it's nobody's fault that fate has dealt him and Gayatri with such a cruel blow. One day, when Sitara finds out that Inderjeet is married she tells him that she is going to severe all ties with him. This crushes the man further and he blasts his wife in a drunken stupor blaming her and her barrenness for his dejection. But the very next instant he realises his folly and apologises.
He pleads with Sitara to not shun him but the woman is determined. This decision of hers breaks Inderjeet's heart and he takes off on his plane, flies riskily and crashes to his death. It's interesting how Gayatri reacts to the news if her husband's death. She does not break down. She just appears shocked. Perhaps, this is Khosla's way of showing that here is a tough woman who has to pick up the pieces of her life from here. She has to battle it out alone. I would say that Gayatri is a very tough woman, so much so that she might appear a bit emotionless. She takes up the reigns of the company and gets down to business instantly.
One sudden letter from Sitara sends a jolt to Gayatri's life. Gayatri is pained and aghast at the knowledge that Inderjeet was having an extramarital affair with Sitara. She goes to meet her and doesn't mince words insulting her. At this instant she also learns that Sitara is pregnant with Inderjeet's child. Her world goes topsy-turvy but she is strong. She quietly calculates the future route of Sitara and her life. She befriends Sitara and takes her to Shimla, only after telling her own infirm mother-in-law that she is pregnant.
In Shimla, she takes care of Sitara day and night. But after the baby is born, she informs the weak mother that the baby was stillborn, obviously a big lie. She leaves Sitara to lick her own wounds and returns to her city with the baby, calling him her own. All ties are negated between Inderjeet's widow and his unfortunate mistress.
The film jump-cuts to introduce Sunny, the boy who Gayatri brings up as her own. He is rich, carefree and has the world at his feet. He has a taste in music, just like his father and original mother and doesn't understand why his 'mummy' hates music. Sunny Deol, I might add, looks good and athletic. He has the body of a sportsperson and carries himself well. Only if his dialogue delivery was less drab and his face more reactive to emotions. One day, while returning from his squash practise he hears a song played on Doordarshan and immediately recognises it of being the one he had heard on his father's recorder. He tracks down the girl singing it. This is Amrita (Amrita Singh sometimes reminds me here of Priety Zinta), who is shown to be staying with her aunty, who happens to be Sitara. Amrita Singh is spontaneous and much better in histrionics than the eponymous hero. Anyways, after some silly misunderstandings, the two young souls fall in love. Now, what would happen? Will Gayatri accept Amrita as her daughter-in-law, considering that she is a singer (a profession she hates so much due to past connections)? Will Sitara recognise Sunny and charge Gayatri? Will matters settle between Gayatri and Sitara?
Sunny stands out solely because of the sound acting by Waheeda Rehman. She is grey here. You can understand her anger when she discovers the truth about Inderjeet and Sitara. She plots revenge in a unique way. But when she hurls fire at Sitara at every instant, you can see the woman is being cruel. In fact, sometimes I felt why was Sitara being so meek and soft. Later when Sitara goes to meet Gayatri after recognising Sunny, I really liked how she faces the woman. But then she backsteps again later. Sitara behaves like a yo-yo. At least Gayatri knows what she wants and doesn't waste time in getting down to business. Her redemption only comes in the end when she realises where she went wrong...
The film is good, but I feel Khosla could have done with some tight editing. There are numerous scenes that eat into the plot. But then there is also Burman's music that's ethereal. Suresh Wadkar's rendition of Aur kya ehdey wafaa is sheer bliss. Meri yaad aayegi is youthful and romantic. And, despite the straight-faced acting by Sunny Deol, he does make a great pairing with Amrita Singh. All in all, a good time-pass drama...


  1. Hmm. :) Nostalgia hits me big time. :) Yes, I watched this around the same period too, though not on TV. My sister had a yen for Sunny Deol, and he was quite nice in a soft romantic role, as opposed to his dhai kilo ke haath jingoism. I remember all my sympathies were with the mistress. :)

  2. I never saw this film. Come to think of it, I've actually seen very few Sunny Deol films (offhand, I can only think of two - Border and Darr, in both of which he wasn't the main character). Don't like him very much. Kahaan baap, kahaan beta. ;-)

  3. Anu: Somehow I felt that Sitara should have been more strong about her rights!

  4. @Dustedoff: It's a nice film, with lovely songs. See it sometime. And ya, you are right about the father-son thingie!! ;)

  5. @Sharmi: I didn't know Sunny was a Raj Khosla film. Thanks for enlightening me. I will catch this some time :)

  6. @Sreenath: Lovely songs, which you'll like...

  7. Rather unusual choice of movie this time, But Sharmi I would request you to dedicate one post on Rajesh Khanna,

    I mean after Shammi & Dev, this was the third blow to the superstar cults of Hindi Film industry...

  8. @Gaurav: Yes I will Gaurav.It'sjust that i'm crazily busy this month and haven't had the time to see any films :( BUt yes, a post on Rajesh Khanna will definitely be here...

  9. Oh, how I love Sharmila Tagore in this! And that song? Aur kya aehde wafaa .. *heart melts* Such beautiful lyrics!