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Film analysis

The Indian society, by and large is a society, which has very strong emotional and sentimental bonds, in every sphere of life and in every relationship. In the later half of the 20th century, the Indian masses witnessed a huge flow of films which were based on emotional bonds. The impact of these films was so great that the masses almost breathed with these films. Raj kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Rajendra Kumar, Nargis, Vaijayanti Mala, Sadhana, Rajesh Khanna, Sharmila Tagore etc were the super star icons who drove the masses to tears in cinema houses, during these decades.

This essay tries to analyze one such Hindi film of those days, named ‘Saathi’. Made in 1968 and directed by Sridhar, this film had popular stars Rajendra Kumar and Vaijyantimala, acting in it. The focus of this essay is on the highlights of its narrative style and how they can be helpful to the viewer in formulating their own value system. It successfully projects the theory that emotions for each other, is the essence of married life. The film begins with the protagonist, returning to India, on completion of his studies as a doctor. Back home, he has a female acquaintance, who is in love with him, and is anticipating marriage with him.

The Doctor, however, pays no heed to this girl, and proceeds with his profession, as a doctor. He comes close to a nurse, the female protagonist, named ‘shanti’, and with her help, is successful in finding a medicine that cures cancer. He is acclaimed for his work, and on advice of an elderly acquaintance, agrees to marry Shanti. In fact, both of them are already in love with each other. On return from their honeymoon, shanty observes that the doctor is not able to concentrate in his work, because he is mad in love with her, and could not live without her.

She decides to quit the house, and the train in which she is traveling, meets with an accident. Shanti is believe to been dead, and this piece of news proved to be disastrous for the doctor. Assuming Shanti will never return, he is forced to marry the girl who had been waiting for him, in the beginning of the film. This marriage, of course, had no emotional base, as the doctor never liked the girl. While working on his research, there is an accident in his laboratory, and he looses his vision.

He is blind. On the other hand, Shanti had met a person, whom she had known earlier, and he takes her to Zurich for treatment. On return, Shanti happens to take a lift from a Doctor, who happens to be visiting the blind protagonist. Shanti is horrified to see that her husband is blind, and requests the family to give her a job as a private nurse, for this blind man. The family approves of it, and the wife, becomes a private nurse of a blind husband. His blindness is ultimately cured and like most Hindi films, this film also ends on a happy note. Husband and wife come together, and the second wife, leaves their life, for good.

This film, very strikingly, demonstrates the role of love and emotions in marriage. The protagonist undergoes two marriages, and the contrast is very well communicated to the viewer. His first marriage to shanty, a girl of his choice, had a two way flow of emotions, and hence enriched their lives with moments full of happiness and joy. So happy was the doctor, that his strong devotion to his work also crumbled to pieces. Day in and day out, he thinks of his wife only. On the other hand, his second marriage, had the flow of emotions only one way.

The girl loved him, but he had no interest in her. Hence, life almost became hell for both of them. While the doctor could not forget Shanti, his second wife, despite her best efforts, could not deviate his attention to herself. The joy, harmony and happiness of life are replaced by disputes, quarrels and tensions. Emotions for each other, is the prime requisite for a happily contended married life. Love and emotion result in being selfless, and this is very effectively demonstrated in this film. Shanti, while helping the doctor in his research to find a cure for cancer, falls ill.

A short sequence, shows how the protagonist is beside her, to nurse her, to serve her and to boost her up. The climax of this sequence is reached when he gets repeated calls for a visit to a patient, and he yells out on phone, “ Has the patient died ? ’. His wish to be beside his wife and nurse her, is so selfless, that he doesn’t bother about his other patients. Too unnatural for a doctor, but that is the magic emotions can perform!!!! The middle part of the film demonstrates the devastating effect, the news of his wife’s death has, on the doctor.

He is completely shattered and all his intelligence could not guide to what he should do next. In a fight between heart and mind, heart dominates the scene. Is depression is so deep that his face changes and his body language also looses all its life. The film has some philosophical touches also, in its narration. When the protagonist hears the news about his wife’s death, he is mentally shattered. But, the way out of that depression, is also shown in that film, and the only way is to ‘forget the past’.

This is such a strong message, and can be very helpful and inspiring to those individuals who are facing such acute depressions. The narration is intercepted by some memorable song sequences in this film. These songs and its melody, proved to be very successful when the film was released. This goes to prove the wide acceptance of these songs, by the masses. Not only the music, but even the words of each lyric, were very strong. For example, the devastated protagonist sings a song which goes something like this, “ jo chala gaya use bhul ja, who na sun sakega teri sada’, ( forget the past, HE is not always going to listen to you ).

The selfness of the doctor to his wife is expre4ssed in words like , “ Main savarunga tuje, sare gam de de mujhe ‘( I will adorn you, give me all your sadness). Songs, as such, are like oxygen to the masses of India, and such melodious tunes, provide a good respite to the listeners. The narrative style is spectacular, in its interweaving of events happening in the storyline. At no point of time, does the film give a jerk to the viewer. All sequences, effortlessly, merge into each other, presenting a structure which is very strongly interwoven. The entire film, is like smooth ride, captivating the minds of its viewers.

Conclusively it can be said that ‘ Saathi’, is a film, which has a very strong message for the society. Through a interesting and frequently changing storyline, it tries to spread the virtues of life which are universal truths and which have been advocated in the past and will be for all times in future. It suggests many means, which lead to a happy, contended married life and experience the magic that love can bring in one’s life. It teaches many virtues, which can strengthen the society. In fact, this film is doing a big task which can be named as ‘social service’.

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