Abhimaan – Anatomy of a marriage – part 1


This is one of my all time favorite films. Amitabh plays the young heartthrob Subir Kumar – a famous pop singer – and he pulls it off with great panache and style. I saw the film as a young teenager and fell in love with the “Meet Naa Mila Re Man Ka” persona immediately! On a trip to a village he meets a young girl Uma (Jaya Bhaduri) and is mesmerized by her innocence and her singing. There is a quick romance and marriage and the happy couple are back in the glamor life of Bombay. Subir wants him and Uma to sing together and make a successful career. But a storm is brewing and we hear the veteran David remarking to someone that Uma is way more talented and this would be a mistake leading to a rift in the marriage. The predicted rift occurs when Subir’s ego cannot swallow the fact that Uma is considered better, offered more assignments. Uma is heartbroken, pregnant and goes back to the village.. The ending is predictable but very very sweet.

Amitabh gives a dynamite performance, first as the heartthrob, then as the lover and finally as the egotistical husband. I rate this as one of his finest performances, way better and nuanced than those endless angry young man roles he bored us with. But the film belongs to Jaya – she does the whole gamut from innocent young girl, to lover, to rejected wife in one of the most realistic performances ever seen. Jaya had true talent that did not rely on mere looks – she shone in almost every film, but this is a tour de force. The supporting cast of Mr. David, AK Hangal, Bindu, Asrani all shine, making this a well acted excellent film. The story, dialogs are superb, the direction is fantastic. The music is by Sachin Dve Burman – and the maestro concocts divine music. ALL songs are true gems but particular standouts are “Meet Na Mila Re”, “Nadiya Kinare”, “Tere Mere Milan Ki Ye Raina”. Hrishikesh Mukherjee proves yet again that he is a master director – even within the trappings of a celebrity life style and glamor he gives us a most realistic film. Abhimaan is worth many a repeat watch.. and touches me every time.

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