Monday, 27 April 2009

Aradhana (1969)

Following the death of legendary movie Producer Shakti Samanta, earlier this month, i knew i had to check out one of his most highly acclaimed work which i had heard so much about and which had been lying around somewhere in my dvd collection. Aradhana (Devotion) became a box office success upon its release and became the 7th highest grossing movie of the '60's. This is also the first film for which Sharmila Tagore won her first Filmfare and Filmfare Best actress award, Aradhana also won the Filmfare Best movie of the year and Kishore Kumar won his first Filmfare male playback award for this movie, so anyway we can see it was a groundbreaking movie for the people involved.

Vandana (Sharmila Tagore) lives in the mountains with her dad who is a doctor, one day she meets Arun (Rajesh Khanna) a pilot when she splashes water on him by accident after he had come to enquire for the doctor



The two fall in love and get married in Private, after night of passion with each other, Vandana feels guilty and Arun assures her everything would be fine and he promises they would get married in front of their family. On his way to tell his family members about the wedding Arun has a plane crash and dies. Before dying he makes Vandana promise to raise their child to become a pilot



Vandana reveals news about her pregnancy to her father who fears for her safety and worries for his daughter and grandson's wellbeing fearing they will be made outcasts. Vandana tells him she and Arun had married privately but her father is still worried telling her that the fact no witnesses were present would make their marriage unbelievable by others. They decide to go to Arun's family and tell him that he and Vanadana were married, but they refuse to accept her fearing she's only after their wealth and saying Arun hadn't told them about being married


Vandana and her father leave and a few months later her dad dies too, she eventually gives birth to a son and then decides to drop him secretly in an orphanage with the hope of going to adopt him next day and thereby lessening the stigma of society.

When she arrives the next day to pick up her son, he had been given to a man whose wife had given birth to a stillborn and to prevent her from being traumatized her husband had adopted a baby without the knowledge of his wife.Vandana pleads with the Orphange caretaker to give her the address , when she gets there she makes the matter know to Ram Saxena who had adopted the baby


Ram begs Vandana to leave the baby with them telling her he would have a good future and would never lack anything, he asks Vandana to become their babysitter, Vandana makes him promise never to reveal her identity as Suraj's mother, and that the matter would be known to both of them only.Vandana becomes Suraj's babysitter and lives with Ram and his wife

One day Ram's brother in law Shyam comes back from Europe, and starts staying with the family, he takes a liking to Vandana and when he attempts to rape her one day, Suraj seeing Vandana is in danger tries to rescue Vandana and he stabs Shyam to death by accident, Vandana tells Suraj not to say anything saying she would handle the whole incident . Vandana is charged with murder and sentenced to 12 years in Jail




After her 12 years are up the prison Guard tells her Ram Prasad is dead and the whole family, including Ram's wife and son are nowhere to be found, and can't be reached. Vandana is distraught and wonders about Suraj

Will she ever find him? What would Suraj be, would he have followed his mother's ideal for him?

Overall i loved this intelligently woven drama and i really can't say a bad word about it, if you enjoy compelling drama's you'll love Aradhana and its one of those movies you can rewatch time and time again. Even though its a remake/inspired by the hollywood film To each his own (1954) which i haven't seen , hence i can't compare, Shakti Samanta's direction is superb and although you know it would end on a happier note, the events unfold in a clever manner. While some might have an issue with the notion of the whole self sacrificing woman theme, i felt it was justified in Aradhana as she protected a loved one and herself from the stigma and harsh jugement in society, which if she hadn't, would have inevitably made life unbearable for both mother and child.

Rajesh Khanna is freshfaced with boyish good looks and he balances his double role really well. The chemistry between him and Sharmila is wonderful and they both make a great pair


it was also nice to seeing a young, radiant Farida Jalal

This is my first Sharmila Tagore film and i am now a big fan, her emotions were excellently portrayed, which i believe is a result of her great acting and Shakti Samanta's direction, i really felt them, even though i'm not one to get emotional for a film, the only film that has ever made me cry is The burning train and i was only about 8 years of age at the time. Sharmila Tagore's styling in this movie was Super wow, i kept taking screen grabs, she is so beautiful, i've included a slideshow showing many of her wonderful looks, i think a picture of Sharmila Tagore should be in the dictionary next to the definition of a Sari, she carries it off so well and in fact all through the movie all she wears are Sarees



The songs from Aradhana scored by S.D. Burman are all time classics and they fit the film perfectly, all the songs were cleverly woven into the plot and captured the essence of the particular situation. The film has 7 songs in total, all of which i loved, but i shall only discuss 4, as i don't want to give away too much. The melancholic & moving Kaheko Roye, the poetic and beautiful Kora Kagaz tha , the famous Mera Sapno ki rani which has been parodied so many times and is one of the most popular bollywood songs ever, and the sexy & groovy Roop tera mastana sang by Kishore Kumar, which won him his first Best male Playback filmfare award, which i've included below, it's so sexy and i can't help but groove along to it each time i hear it, it's said to have been shot in one single take



A wonderful well directed movie by Shakti Samanta and i can't wait to see many more of his works, May his soul rest in peace.

Total Score: 8/10 (A movie to watch again and again, an evergreen Classic)

Update: Although S.D. Burman is credited with the film's music, two songs 'Mera Sapno Ki rani' & 'Roop tera mastana' were scored by R.D Burman, you can read more about the music of Aradhana here

20 comments:

Darshit said...

All I can remember is *fabulous* music. Love love this movie. And that makes it clear why I prefer Dev Saab and Kaka over ummm...you know....AB.

shell said...

Holy - while this movie certainly looks intriquing I can just imagine the buckets full of tears. There's just something about a good tragedy that gets me every time. I'll have to certainly check it out!

bollywooddeewana said...

Darshit the music is indeed fabulous, i loved every single 1 of them

Shell,I am sure you'll definitely like this, its full of drama and its very emotional

Bhargav Saikia said...

Wow..lovely! Amazing music again by SD Burman! Haven't seen the movie. I'll get hold of the DVD as soon as I go back to India this summer..Sharmila Tagore is way too beautiful :)

Bhargav Saikia said...

And Farida Jalal too! She looks lovely in that screenshot you've taken!

bollyviewer said...

I had no idea it was a remake of a Hollywood classic - the story is so typical of Bollywood melodrama! ;-)

And doesnt Sharmila look super-wow! I heard her say in an interview that the Mere sapno ki rani song was shot with Rajesh Khanna on location, but her part was shot in the studios much later as she had taken off to shoot for a Satyajit Ray film! By the way, why do you call the song "infamous"? I've never heard a bad thing about it!

bollyviewer said...

PS: check this blog post about the music of the film. Apparently the soundtrack wasnt all SD Burman's contribution!

Nida said...

Ooh, I love Sharmila! Have only seen her in two films but like you warmed to her instantly. I have to add this one to my list.

bollywooddeewana said...

Thanks bollyviviewr, i actually knew about R.d Burman's contribution for Roop tera mastana and Mera sapno ki Rani, bad of me not to give him the credit, i thought since it was mostly his fathers work i'd mention him

On Mera sapno ki rani, how silly of me i meant to say its so famous its been parodied many times

@ Nida I'm sure you'll love this, even though it tends to be very melodramatic

Nicki said...

I haven't seen this movie in soooo long. My mom looooves it. It's also a favorite of many Hmong people. Need to re-watch

Daddy's Girl said...

Aradhana is indeed a landmark film for many reasons... I absolutely love the music, Kishore's voice on Roop Tera Mastana is so sexy, and the picturisation was amazing.

Draganescu said...

My Good right now i'm watching at Aradhana on National tv one of my favorite hindi movie of all time when i see this wonderfull movie was a litlle child i was born in 1978 later after 9 years this classic Shakti Samantha was Great

bollywooddeewana said...

@ DRAGNESCU Thanks for stopping by, it is indeed one of my favourite movies as well, the songs, acting and just the whole movie is absolutely beautiful

"THE BARD WHO DOESNT HAVE TO TRY TOO HARD" said...

ARADHANA marked d arrival of rajesh khanna, a re-brith 4 kishore da n acted as a turning point in anand bakshi's career!!..d movie no doubt is a classic,but songs are immortal!!

superb job!!

bollywooddeewana said...

Thanks The Bard I agree wholeheartedly

Sharmi Ghosh Dastidar said...

Sharmila truly is one beauty hard to take your eyes off from. But, Rajesh Khanna here also looks good enoug to eat :)

bollywooddeewana said...

Indeed Sharmi, I agree wholeheartedly ;)

MADmusic&movielover said...

well, aradhana's music is actually so great that i can't say which song is better than the other.by the way,as far as r.d.burman's contribution to aradhana's music is concerned,it is true that mere sapnon ki rani was composed by panchamda.Both shaktida and kaka vouch for this.Kaka even says that pancham added the train sound as it gave him a high.But,roop tera mastana was not composed by pancham,he only did the brilliant orchestration.Infact,roop tera mastana is actually based on a east bengali folk song which goes like this-
AAJKE JABO SHOSHURBARI,
SAJIYE DE AAMAY TARATARI.
MEANING-TODAY I AM GOING TO MY IN-LAW'S HOUSE,SO DRESS ME UP QUICKLY.

bollywooddeewana said...

@ Mad Music Thank you so much for clarifying Pancham's contributions to the soundtrack and the origins of the Roop tera song, i love such filmi knowledge, Thanks for sharing once more

MADmusic&movielover said...

my pleasure.by the way,your poster collection is just too good.superb man.....