Thursday, October 11, 2007

Safar - 1970

I was wakeful a couple of nights back. Flipping channels, I caught a young Sharmila talking to a boy. I stuck around, the scene was interesting. A couple of scenes later, realised the movie was Safar. A 1970 offering by Asit Sen starring Sharmila Tagore, Rajesh Khanna, Feroze Khan and Ashok Kumar.

The movie was about a couple of medical students, Neela (Sharmila) and Avinash (Rajesh) who love each other but things lie unsaid between them. Neela tutors a young boy Montu. Montu's older brother, Shekhar (Feroze) falls headlong for Neela and proposes marriage. In the meantime, Avinash finds out that he is terminally ill with blood cancer. He forces Neela to accept Shekhar's proposal, as Shekhar is healthy and rich, and will keep her happy. Neela accepts and is a dutiful wife, if not wholly loving. She can't get over Avinash and Shekhar realises it. He becomes obsessed with Neela and ruins his business and finally commits suicide.

The irony here was, a terminally ill man, Avinash, survives Shekhar. Neela finds she has lost her love, Avinash, as well as her husband, Shekhar.

Well scripted, well acted and well made, the movie was a treat. The ambiance and the dialog were very real. Well, a little dramatic at times, maybe.

But the songs, they were extremely pleasing.

1. Jeevan se bhari teri aankhen
2. Nadiya chale chale re dhara
3. Hum the jinke sahare
4. Jo tumko ho pasand wohi baat kahenge
and the ever popular
5. Zindagi ka safar hai ye kaisa safar

The last song reflects the mood of the movie. Had Neela remained faithful to Avinash, what little time he had would have been well spent, and Neela could have had a fulfilling marriage. Though Avinash was the one who was dying, my heart went out to Shekhar who loves Neela so deeply and so hopelessly.