I spent this weekend watching two movies, the first one Pirates of Silicon Valley, I already discussed with you. The other movie was RajniGandha, it is an hindi film directed by Basu Chatterjee. It starred Amol Palekar, Vidya Sinha and Dinesh Thakur in the leading roles. It won the Best Picture at the Filmfare Awards in the year 1974 including the Critics Award. The movie was released in 1974 and laid the foundation for low budget films based on the life of common Indian man. This period also saw the beginning of parallel and art cinema with the emergence of actors like Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah, Amol Palekar, Smita Patil, Shabana Azmi, Farooq Sheikh, Deepti Nawal etc. In the 1970s and the 80s, parallel cinema gave birth to a whole new breed of fresh hindi films known for its serious content, realism and naturalism, with a keen eye on the socio-political climate of the times.
Ok, hold on, let’s not go into history of Parallel Cinema. So, RajniGandha is basically a love triangle. It is story of Deepa (Vidya Sinha) who is in love with Sanjay (Amol Palekar). The movie shows the complications of a woman character. Sanjay works in a government company and trying to get promotion so that he can marry with Deepa. They both live in Delhi. Deepa is doing PhD after completing her MA degree. In the mean time, she gets an interview call for the post of Lecturer in a college from Bombay. Then she leaves for Mumbai for the interview where she meets her ex-boyfriend Naveen (Dinesh Thakur).
This reunion makes her confused and her life becomes very difficult. Actually, Naveen is her first love. They know each other from school days. She started thinking that Naveen will propose her and they will get married. On one side, she wants to be with Sanjay who also loves her very much. Actually meeting Naveen awakens the old first love and buried memories of college romance for Deepa and she starts believing herself to be in love with him, all over again. She stays for one week in Bombay and then she returns to Delhi. But she finds herself thinking of Naveen all the time and starts missing him deeply. Finally after Sanjay’s arrival, she gets out of her dilemma and realizes where her true love is Sanjay, not Naveen.
The movie is completely focused on the actress, Vidya Sinha. The whole story revolves around her, showing double sided Deepa’s Mind. The music of the film is given by Salil Chowdhury. There are only two songs in the film. ‘Kai Baar Yunhi Dekha Hai,’ by Mukesh describes the conflict in Deepa’s mind.Amol Palekar is one of my favorite actors. His performances in films like Rajnigandha, Chhoti Si Baat, Chitchor, Baaton Baaton Main, Naram Garam, Golmaal, Rang Birangi, Meri Biwi Ki Shaadi, Damaad and Gharonda are some of the masterpieces of Indian Cinema. The story of the film is based on a short story by Manu Bhandari called ‘Yehi Sach Hai.’. Want to read the complete story in Hindi, Click here.