Abhiman (1973)

Posted: October 21, 2017 in Hindi films, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Two Hundred Indian films, Women in cinema

abhi

The inspiration behind the film ABHIMAN could have been any of the following (i) The singer-actor duo Kishore Kumar & Ruma Guha Thakurta and their lives

(ii) The actors Amitabh Bachchan & Jaya Bhaduri (many opined that Jaya was a superior actor than Amitabh in those days) and their lives

(iii) The Hollywood film A STAR IS BORN

Whatever may have been the inspiration, this is a beautiful film laden with wonderful songs unfolding a tale of a singer couple (Amitabh & Jaya) , their quick romance and marriage and thereafter making music together. When the wife starts getting more recognition, male ego gets hurt and husband starts sulking endlessly taking recourse to booze and ex-flame (Bindu). Kudos to Hrishikesh Mukherjee for offering the role to Bindu as a sensitive friend, as it shows her in a different light  and a far cry from her usual vampish roles. The directorial style is muted; to convey the deep agony of Usha (Jaya) upon losing her son at childbirth, the director uses a long shot, and the distance between Usha and her father (A. K. Hangal) in the same frame highlights the gulf that exists between them (signifying the loneliness of Usha) , even though Usha respected and cared for her father immensely.

The acting is first-rate; Jaya and Amitabh are outstanding. David, Asrani, Durga Khote and A.K.Hangal are also memorable in the portrayal of their respective characters. The unspoiled village with its purity and keeper of the classical music tradition alive is contrasted with a materialistic music driven industry in its urban setting.

Rating : 4.1 out of 5

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