wiki:Saraswatichandra

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Saraswatichandra

1968 156’ b&w Hindi d Govind Saraiya pc Sarvodaya Pics st Govardhanram Tripathi’s novel sc Vrajendra Gaur dial Ali Raza lyr Indivar c Nariman Irani m Kalyanji-Anandji lp Nutan, Manish, Vijaya Choudhury, Sulochana, Sulochana Chatterjee, Ramesh Deo, Seema, B.M. Vyas, Surendra, Babu Raje, Jeevan Kala, Madhumati

Set in the 19th C. and adapting the most important reform novel in Gujarati (1887-1901). The rich Saraswatichandra (Manish) is to marry Kumud (Nutan), daughter of a neighbouring dewan. Initially committed to nationalism and reluctant to marry, he changes his mind when he falls in love with his fiancee. However, a jealous sister-in-law forces him to leave his ancestral residence, and Kumud is forced into marrying a drunk and a debauchee (Dev). She tries to commit suicide but is rescued by the nuns in a reformist charitable mission. Here she once again meets her former betrothed. Following the death of her degenerate husband, she is free to remarry, and is indeed encouraged by her family to do so, but instead she dedicates her life to charitable work. The 19th C. novelist Tripathi had been personally opposed to widow remarriage, contradicting his otherwise progressive reformism (cf. Sudhir Chandra, 1992). Extraordinarily, a century later, the film endorses this attitude with a variety of melodramatic effects, making a contemporary love story with silhouetted split-lighting and a sentimental soundtrack even though the story is periodised by a commentary and ‘period’ decor. One of Nutan’s typical performances of reformist romance fiction, the film is known for some major song hits including Phool tumhe bheja hai khat mein, Chandan sa badan and Main to bhool chali babul ka des.

Film