Suraj, Suraj (sunshine), where do i start with this delightful movie, stolen kids, deception , evil scheming, wonderful costumes and great songs all make for a tasty 60's masala treat
After Sangram Singh (Niranjan Sharma) saves the life of Vikram Pratap Singh (David Abraham), he is highly grateful, as a reward Pratap Singh promises his daughter to Sangram Singh's son in Marriage, he secures this promise with a necklace
While the young king is playing with king Sangram Singh's guard Ram Singh (Gajanan Jagidar) the necklace drops and a palace maid steals it,Ram Singh is then accused of the theft and punished and shamed by the King, when the necklace is eventually found Ram Singh had left the palace and Sangram Singh gets no chance to apologise
Ram Singh is angry and promises to get even, he steals the young prince from the palace and then sends his own son back to the palace a few years later as the prince, he also creates a scar in his are similar to one the original prince has
The King and Queen are suspicious but when they discover a burn similar to the one the Prince has, they believe its truly him
Ram Singh then brings up the King's son as a thief with the intention of scorning the King one day, he also changes his name to Suraj
although Suraj is brought up as a thief, he has a heart of gold
Prince Pratap Singh (Ajit) who is actually Ram Singh's original son that is being brought up in the palace grows up to be a tout (oh the irony), terrorrising the villagers and troubling the young girls
Princess Anuradha (Vyjayanthimala) who has been promised to Prince Pratap Singh too comes of age and when her father tells her of her upcoming marriage to the prince, she's none too pleased but agrees to go and visit him just to please her father
She takes her maid servant Kalavati (Mumtaz) with her and when they get there she swaps roles with Kalavati arguing she wants to see what everyday life is like
Thus Kalavati becomes the princess and Princess Anuradha becomes the maid
While on her journey through town to discover what normal folks are like she meets and falls for Suraj in a spate of irony since he is in fact the original king
In another Spate of Irony the King doesn't take a liking to the acting Princess (Mumtaz) but falls for her handmaid who is fact the real Princess
Who would the king marry? Will the king discover that Prince Pratap Singh whom he has raised is not his real son? Will Suraj discover he is in fact the real prince? For obvious answers to these and many more fun reasons please watch Suraj?
An all round fun film is what Suraj (Sunshine) is, its full of hilarious well placed ironies plus the masalaic formulas of swapped children, mistaken identities & evil schemes, this movie has all the elements that became the standard formula of most masala films in the '70's and '80's.
I absolutely loved Rajendra Kumar in this, this was such a fun role for him and he pulled it off with panache, no tears or emotional acting for him in this, just fun all the way through
Johnny Walker as usual is comic relief with some hilarious Cock Jokes, according to my subtitles anyway
As for Ajit, what a handsome man he was, why didn't he ever make it to top hero status? He was hilarious and fantastic as the scheming terrorising prince
there was serious sexual chemistry between him and Vjayanthimala in a Villain fancies heroine kind of way
Never has Vyjayanthimala looked so gorgeous if you're a fan of Vyjayanthimala you might wanna add this to your collection, and although she doesn't dance so much in these she balances her roles as Princess Anuradha who knows what she wants and the damsel in distress perfectly
Baby Neetu Singh too had a small role
What an outstanding soundtrack by Shankar Jaikishen, all the songs from this films are gems, they won their 5th filmfare best music director award for this. From the romantic 'Chere pe giri' the sweet and heartwarming vocals of Sharda in 'Deko Mera Dil', the evergreen 'Baharon Phool Barsao' which won Mohammed Rafi his 4th filmfare best male playback award and the beautiful 'Ho Kaise Samjhaon', the fun 'Ho Ek baar' and the sweet enchanting 'Titli Udi' sang by the fabulous Sharda, which is said to ave been the No. 1 hit song of 1966
Total Score: 8/10 (A wonderfully entertaining Fairytale)
Suraj is available in 16 parts with English Subtittles on Youtube
the wonderful Sharda (image courtesy of BrookHaven National Laboratory)
Sharda whom i had heard nothing of till i saw this movie, apparently never made it big even though her voice was spectacularly magnificent due to dirty politics and monopoly of The Mangeshkar sisters whom i adore, but as much as i love them, when i read of allegations of them refusing to sing for producers should they give songs to anyone else i'm a little disappointed but that disappointment doesn't take away from the legends i think they rightfully are.
Sharda and some top industry people in the 60's Image courtesy of BrookHaven National Laboratory.
Sharda's education also seemed to have worked against her, read more on Wikipedia, i don't know how true the wikipedia article is, but with the very little that's written on her, the wikipedia article is well written and seems fair. She also has her own website as well which is aptly titled titliudi.com
See more of Sharda at the Brookhaven National Laboratory