Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A tear drop to roll down from the Eye

Once in a while such a script is written which shudders the viewer’s mind and the story makes a home inside the brain of the viewer in first hand shot. One such masterpiece in Indian Cinema is 1983’s SADMA.Directed by Balu Mahendra, Sadma is the remake of the Tamil movie Moondram Pirai. Story revolves around two main characters portraying the movie to be not only great in its own ways but also reflecting the complex human relations and emotions. Starring the maestros of acting world, none else than Padmashree Kamal Hassan and the diva Sridevi, the plot is about a young modern lady, in her early 20’s receiving a head injury in an accident and suffering from amnesia and behaving like a six-year-old kid and how a stranger helps her out to regain her lost memory..

A young, party freaked, out-going lady,Laxmi (Sridevi) receives a head injury in an car accident and is hospitalized in a critical state, in a coma ., Unable to recollect anything, Laxmi behaves like a six year old child after a few days of regaining her consciousness. She runs away from home, and ends up in a brothel and is saved by a kind hearted teacher Somu (Kamal Hasan). After meeting her, he just couldn't stop thinking about her and somehow managed to flee her from the hell.

Then after its all about how he rescues her and brings her back to his home, takes care of her and treats her like a child, without getting diverted in terms of human/ animal’s basic instincts, considering the beauty she has.

Trying from making her eat her daily grub to making her plaits (in such great long hair) to singing lullabies and dancing with her, not to forget the innocent creature picked up by Laxmi from the stinking loo’s tub , none else than the puppy “Hariprasad”, making her smile and even learn alphabets, Somu does everything as guardian or as parents do for their own kids. With the lapse of time, Somu feels for her and fall in love with Laxmi, accepts her the way he has found her and tries to make her normal so that she regains her lost memory without having any clue of her parents and moreover about the fact that the police is searching her. Finally he cures her and then the story takes a turn where Laxmi’s parents find her and take her back from the ashram where Somu left her for treatment thanking to the stranger (Somu) and without meeting him as person.

“Sadma means Shock and the movie justifies the name…
Laxmi getting a sadma and losing her memory, Somu helping her out and curing her and finally the climax where he himself loses this mental stability in trying to make her realize who is he been for her….

The movie doesn’t end with a conventional family drama with a happy ending rather the end is ends is tragic, heart touching and neverless leaving behind a question in the brains ....Kamal Haasan’s desperate antics to help rekindle Sridevi’s memory as he runs down the platform, even as she, cured of her amnesia, happily ignores him, with the train taking her away from Kamaal’s life forever. The last scene of Kamal Hassan at the railway station, trying to remind Sridevi of their time together, was simply heartbreaking and un-bearable. The climax is superb and the most watchable part of the movie...Kamal`s performance of life... One just can’t stop his/ her tears rolling down the cheeks and lips saying one word “Aaah” with a pain inside it ….

A worth watching movie, rated as 8.9/10, Sadma is a movie of a life time. It shows the psychological state of a mentally disturbed person and those who care for him or her. Well suited in hilly tracks, and eucalyptus plantations, in the south India, the place is Ooty only.

The soul stirring music score by Illyaharaja is as touching as the movie itself.. Its songs are well composed and well placed as per the plot. Not to forget the all time hit “ Ai Zindagi Gale Laga le” and “Sur Mayi Ankhaiyo mein” by Suresh Wadkar to the funny one “Ek dafa ek Jungal tha… and the excellent dance by Kameleon in the kiddo manner reminding me of my school’s annual function to the sensual tribal dance of Silk Smi and Kamaleon in “Oh Babua ..”.
The original choice for the lead role was Dimple Kapadia. Because she had committed to Saagar (1985) and couldn't allot bulk dates to the film, 'Sridevi' was signed instead and to me the role of Laxmi was well justified by this lady.

None other than Sridevi can ever manage to look like that and portray the character of an amnesic patient in that way. Her charismatic beauty, flawless acting rather depicting a 6- year’s kid isn’t an easy task. Perfection and justification to that role is only her cup of tea and she did the work to her par excellence. A 141 minutes duration movie, and nominated for National Award, Sadma, the remake of Moondram Pirai (1983), both versions are considered classics of Indian cinema with Moondram Pirai being considered as one of the best Tamil Popular films ever made. Sridevi has been quoted as calling Moondram Pirai for which she won the National Film Award for Best Actress 1983, her all time favorite role. Sri devi shows her prolific talent in the movie. We can laud Kamal Hassan for his eye catching facial movments. He really touches our heart with his gestures…

Not to forget two more characters. One , the Bad Man, Gulsan Grover , who tries to take the advantage of the sick Laxmi and the late Silk Smitha for her depiction as a vamp and for the sensual song “Oh Babua Yeh Mahua..” Though many may treat her role as vulgar but she really tried hard to act!

One of my all time favorites,
(For Kandapatty by Gandapatty)