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Amitabh-Saudagar-Review by Usman Khawaja
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    Default Amitabh-Saudagar-Review by Usman Khawaja

    SAUDAGAR
    BOLLYWOOD AND BACHANS PAST GLORY
    I am so annoyed with the current crop of Bollywood and Bachchan disasters that I have to go into the past 1973 to revisit this Rajshri masterpiece which I saw ten years ago but is still extremely vivid in my mind as the lush green sugarcane fields of Murshidabad in Bengal where it is picturesquely but poignantly set to tell the ironical tale of a Muslim rural community dealing with the ghur(raw brown sugar) trade, but it’s really a pivotal point in Hindi /Urducinema which comments on the social and cultural exploitation by the masochistic Muslim clergy who rule our ignorant villagers in the name of Islam without giving any benefits or rights which the religion bestowed upon woman 1400 years ago.

    It’s also a compliment to the producers for making a memorable movie without resorting to foreign locations or cabarets with half naked women and men running around on stupendously silly set pieces but rather a simple strong script that delivers a meaningful message very artistically, yet without creating a religious controversy despite being a thoughtfully provocative theme on the subject oftalaq (divorce)in Islam.

    The director Sudhendu Roy superbly castAmitabh Bachchan as Mutalif and Nutan as Mahjubhi Bibito deliver a scintillating blow to sexual attitudes as well as to make a revolutionary movie in Hindi cinema, Amitabh Bachchan and Nutan both have awesome voices and dictions in Urdu and this is a master class in natural and method acting by the two great yet polar talents where the result is as natural as the ghur (raw brown sugar) that the two tap from sugarcane.

    Nutan plays a middle aged Muslim widow who is the best in her trade in the district, she needs a man in a masochist society and Amitabh Bachchan is the local tradesman in ghur (raw brown sugar) who loves a young belle Phool Bhano (Padma Khanna) but has not got enough to marry her as her father demands a ransom (haq mehr paid by Muslims either upon consummation to the woman or upon divorce) for her beautiful daughter, so to raise the sum Mutalif (Amitabh) hatches a plan to marry the older widow so he can get his ghur free of charge and trade it for the money he needs to buy his dream even if he has to break a woman’s heart and this is the setting for the Saudagar.


    But mother nature has other plans andas you sow so shall you reap, as the sugarcane crop matures and his coffers fill he uses his right of verbal divorce (talaq), a totally controversial Islamic tradition to reject his faithful wife to marry the young beauty but then the movie takes a twist and it’s amazing to see the divorced woman turn into a fiery serpent who will destroy the couple who have defiled her haven and made jest of sacred vows.

    The musical score is heavenly whether background or the song “tera mera saath rahe portrays the mature love Nutan feels for her younger husband in Lata Mangeshkar voice, while “sajna he muje ahe sajna ke liye” is a luscious and lustful invitation by Asha Bhonsle sung by Padma Khanna as the youthful mistress for her illicit lover, har haseen cheez ka me khareedar hoon”by Kishore Kumar portrays Amitabh Bachchans evil but pragmatic designs in accordance with the movies theme immaculately in a relevant manner without being out of place, the folk music composed by the great Ravindra Jain is soulful and joyous as he scored mostly for Rajshri classics in 70’s like Chitchor and Tapasya.

    But those were the golden days when in early seventies Indian cinema reached its peak to fall into the gutter it is in today as you see Amitabh Bachchan in Darna Zaroori Hai and Nishabd, you wonder where the great actor who did a dumb-mute boy in Sunil Dutts Reshma Aur Shera to a totally underrated but natural Manzil asa young executive in a suit and tie romancing Moushami Chatterjee with rim jim gire sawan” in Basu Chaterjees has gone.

    Nutan who won seven film fare awards including one for Saudagar is dead, but isn’t it a blessing as Indian cinema today would defile her too in the total idiosyncrasies they are producing to satisfy a multiplex crowd or so they say but I beg to disagree, in my opinion they are bankrupt morally and creatively and just watch foreign videos to churn out the trash even worse than the awful ghur which Amitabh and his consort try to make and sell after the ultimate betrayal in this great movie but to their utter amazement the ghur is as worthless as today’s soulless movies and as Amitabh Bachchan starts to batter his worthless but beautiful young wife out of wrath emanating from financial disaster, the allegorical metamorphosis to today’s Hindi cinema is completed as the audience turns its back upon flop after flop.

    But as Mutalif sends his new bride home he heads to Mahjubis house, and as he sheepishly knocks at her door, here stands a totally defeated man with a tattered ego and she silently opens the door to let him in and serves him some ghur, and then enters a tearful and repentant Phool Bhano with her meagre belongings and as they silently accept each other the great movie ends

    Without a word.

    This is true cinema where the camera speaks for the characters and there is no need for words which become meaningless as language only constitutes 10% of human communication in our world.


    Rajshri have since made blockbusters but only Saraansh -1980 came anywhere close to the raw intelligence and power of this great classic.





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    Need to see this one.


    ^^Thanks to the Evil_G^^


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    Quote Originally Posted by Guji-Ji View Post
    Need to see this one.
    you have to see this one-great movie..

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