wiki:Rao Saheb

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Rao Saheb

1986 123’ col Hindi d/s Vijaya Mehta p Pahlaj Bajaj st Jaywant Dalvi c Adeep Tandon m Bhaskar Chandavarkar lp Anupam Kher, Vijaya Mehta, Nilu Phule, Tanvi, Mangesh Kulkarni

Based on the popular play Barrister (1977) by Dalvi, Mehta’s film is set in the 20s in a small Maharashtrian town. Rao Saheb (Kher), an English-educated but orthodox barrister, lives with his elder brother and his widowed but vivacious aunt Mausi (Mehta) in an old mansion. Mausi befriends the equally lively young bride living next door, Radhika (Tanvi), who also becomes a widow. Radhika rebels against her bigoted father’s attempt to make her conform to the orthodox Brahmin rituals imposed on widows and she becomes a close friend of Rao Saheb. However, he cannot break free from Brahmin custom and marry her. Instead, unable to act according to his convictions, he goes insane while Radhika resigns herself to the cruel existence of a Brahmin widow. The (like all Mehta’s cinema) stagey film evokes the plight of progressive liberals who support reform movements regarding widow remarriage but are themselves unable to overcome the social and moral pressures exerted by orthodox traditions.