Hindi Movies

Retro Review: Saraswatichandra

BollyCurry brings to you a literary accomplishment that has survived through time and remains fond in many hearts till this day. We talk of the warm and heart wrenching story of Saraswatichandra.

Published: Wednesday,May 29, 2013 23:30 PM GMT-06:00
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This week, BollyCurry brings to you a literary accomplishment that has survived through time and remains fond in many hearts till this day. For the first time in Indian television history, a daily show has taken direct inspiration from an awe-inspiring classical movie, who's inspiration previously originated from a cultured novel. We talk of the warm and heart wrenching story of Saraswatichandra.

Saraswatichandra is a tale of love. But more than that, it is a tale of the barriers of the old customs of society, the changes in people's ideology, and the bridge that is then created to overcome the barriers and the ideology. It is about love that goes through great lengths to meet and the spectacular downfall of when cupid decides to play the game of waiting. As we all know, life is not always a fairytale complete with a happy endings. 

Saraswatichandra is an adaption of the famous Gujarati novel of the same name. This extremely well read and enjoyed novel was written by Govardhanram Madhavram Tripathi, and it consists of five parts written between the years of 1887 to 1902. The film version was released in 1968, directed by Govind Saraiya who was a rather new director at the time. The main protagonists were the mesmerizing Nutan and the talented Manish.

The plot revolves around two lovers Kumud Sundari (Nutan) and Saraswatichandra (Manish). Saras is brought up by his step-mother who does not pay much attention to his upbringing and he grows up feeling detached and lonely, yet is a passionate and loving man. He has his own plans with his life but those plans are disturbed when his father fixes his marriage with Kumud, an educated girl who hails from a rich family. Saras, angry with his father over his decision, writes to Kumud and cancels their engagement. However, once they start exchanging letters, a bond forms between them and the letters continue to pass between to and fro. One day, breaking the customs of society, Saras pays a visit to his fiance and love starts blooming between the two. It is a short lived rendezvous as Saras is called home, not without imparting a promise of marrying her soon. However, circumstances change and he soon writes that that he can not marry her. Heartbroken and due to family pressure, Kumud accepts to marrying someone else - the drunkard and womanizer, Prabhat. Saras and Kumud part ways but fate beings them face to face once again at Kumud's in-laws where Saras learns of Prabhat's philanderous ways. Kumud, who is determined to remain the loyal wife, rejects Saras and he leaves to join a hermitage. Kumud is soon thrown out of the house and is taken in at the same hermitage Saras is dwelling. Succumbing to fate, she agrees to return Saras' affections but once he informs her that Prabhat is dead, she embraces the widow status and convinces Saras to marry her sister, thus sacrificing their love to live by their duties and society's wishes.

Saraswatichandra was well received by the audience. It managed to win two National Awards; Nariman Irani for Best Cinematography and Kalyanji-Anandji for Best Music Director. Ali Raza also won a Filmfare Award for Best Dialogue. All three accolades were won in 1969. The story has also recently been adapted to the small screen for a drama serial produced by Sanjay Leela Bansali, but with certain changes in the plot.

Did You Know?
  • This was Nutan's last role as romantic heroine. After this, she went on to do motherly roles.
  • Even though Saraswatichandra was a success, this was the last time the male lead and director were seen in Bollywood.
  • This was the last film that was made in the black and white format.
BollyCurry is aware that many movies have been made and remade, but this movie is surely the first that has been directly adapted into a TV show. And just like the film, the show is highly successful. So while we go off to search for another timely classical movie to bring to you, why don't you go and enjoy this sweet and caring movie with someone special. Until next time!

Author: Fatima W.
Editor(s): Shreya & Jenifer Y.
Graphics: Saraa K.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali Nutan Ali Raza Govind Saraiya Saraswatichandra 

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