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Kasauti (1974)

6.5
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Kasauti literally means "norm". The key players are Sapna (Hema Malini), Amit (Amitabh Bachan), Pyarelal (Pran), Neeta (Sonia Sahni) and Heera (Ramesh Deo). The theme is urban poverty and ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Arabind Sen)

Writers:

(dialogue), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Kasauti (1974)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sapna
...
Amitabh Sharma (Amit)
...
Pyarelal
Sonia Sahni ...
Nita
Vijay Sharma ...
Ashok Babu
Ramesh Deo ...
Heera
Sulochana Latkar ...
Sapna's mother (as Sulochana)
Bipin Gupta ...
Inspector
D.K. Sapru ...
Hariram (as Sapru)
Murad ...
Amit's father
Abhi Bhattacharya ...
Shankar Babu
Satyendra Kapoor ...
Sapna's foster father (as Satyen Kappu)
Mohan Choti ...
Panchu
Bharat Bhushan ...
Nita's husband
Shubha Khote
Edit

Storyline

Kasauti literally means "norm". The key players are Sapna (Hema Malini), Amit (Amitabh Bachan), Pyarelal (Pran), Neeta (Sonia Sahni) and Heera (Ramesh Deo). The theme is urban poverty and how poverty, crime and the power of money come together in twisting and turning the lives of the participants........... Sapna lives with her factory worker mother and her alcoholic step-father. Money is always scarce......... Neeta's husband is crippled from an accident and goes blind a bit later. Neeta goes to work to support her family; as a prostitute.......... As friends, Neeta introduces Sapna to her pimp, Heera and hopes that Sapna will earn enough money to pull herself out of the clutches of poverty and the misbehaviour of her step-father...... Amit, an educated young man, an owner-driver of his taxi comes to Sapna's rescue when she is under threat, and gratitude turns into romance and then love..... The alcoholic step-father has designs on Sapna, and when her mother is out working tries to ... Written by mg-gopalan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Family

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 August 1974 (India)  »

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Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)
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User Reviews

Longing to that era's formula !

Waw, that was the era's formula indeed; a romance, melodrama, some comedy with some action, blended all with songs. You may veto, saying that that the forever Indian formula for entertainment, well, it is to some extend, though this round it's done in such a lovable way, that makes it so entertaining and so Indian.

We have big and adorable stars, whom do their roles easily and effectively. (Amitabh Bachchan) is the king of coolness who convinces me doing anything. Back then he used to be the poor young man, today he just the opposite all along, maybe because – out of the pictures – he certainly moved to higher social degree. (Hema Malini) has the looks of everybody's sister, some glamour to be a kid, a woman, a happy soul, a sad victim all in one, and a talent for comedy and dancing; namely she's a capable actress and star. And (Pran), or dear (Pran), he's one of the most perfect number 2 guys of all times, being the greatest sidekick (Bachchan) had between Zanjeer (1973) and Nastik (1983), before becoming (Bachchan)'s dad or uncle. He's maybe the top scene stealer (Bachchan), or else, ever worked with, being a magnetic star whatever the secondary role he does.

I won't forget the invisible stars (Kishore Kumar) and (Lata Mangeshkar), the legendary playback singers. They did, as usual, an amazing job. I fell in love with songs like (Hum Bolega To Bologe Ki Bolta Hai) or (Rangmanch Yeh Duniya Sari). They were original Indian songs, original in terms of lyrics, music and performance. Maybe I love them because I'm Egyptian, and the eastern music isn't strange for me, but sure I respect them because nowadays most of the Indian cinema's songs are not that original, shapelessly western, and expressing something between far-off Indian and off-the-wall Americanized !

In 1974, I think, it was ordinary, if not necessary, to see the evil man as a western, or western-like, guy. So that's why (Ramesh Deo), the playboy smuggler, was redheaded, wearing – all the time – flashy suits and sunglasses. It was the so patriotic vision at the time, where "not-Indian" was mostly considered "bad". There is even a song, (Baby Ho Gayi Hai Jawan), to satirize the hippie culture as something not only foreign, but connected with what's degenerate and sinister, assuring the movie's conservative and decorous nature. However, on the other hand, the movie has evil "Indians" in the story as well, and I mean the drunken rapist stepfather (Satyendra Kapoor) or the local smugglers. Thus, at least, a sense of objectiveness and balance is found.

The shortcomings are few : while the character of (Pran) as a chivalrous criminal was catchy, his line digressed redundantly with fabricated action scene in a boat. I hate making laughs from a stuttering man. I didn't like part of the lighting at the number of (Yeh Time Time Ki Baat). And the last battle suffered from some naivety (throwing a gun at a huge thug doesn't harm him badly as we saw !).

For a western viewer matters like mixing melodrama with songs can be somewhat unfamiliar if not forced. But hey, com'on, we're talking about the east of the world and its own way of making entertaining cinema. It's basically based on that society, its status and needs. Look closer : a girl who undergoes social injustice; due to being imprisoned once, and having a murderer mother (status) goes to star in a musical theater with funny numbers as a solution (needs), the viciousness of smugglers and kidnappers (status) is fought and defeated eventually by the good guys (needs), and despite poorness, demeaning social look, alcoholic stepfather and evil rival (status), love can overstep all the obstacles, triumphing at last (the ultimate need !). It's not a dish, it's more like a meal with satisfying portions of romance, melodrama, action, comedy, and music; so the hungry audience gets more than full.

Don't find it odd, it's in every cinema, the "way" is what differs, and that's merely the east's way. For example, the Egyptian cinema used to make the same kind of stories with the same formula back in the 1940s and 1950s, with only 2 differences; being shot in black and white and performed by Egyptian stars. In fact, we have a movie named (Ishhadoo Ya Nas) or (Be Witnesses, People), produced in 1953, starring (Shadia) and (Mohseen Sarhan), of which (Kasauti) resembles greatly, concerning the main characters, drama, and formula even the matter of the heroine being wronged by a family crises, and a criminal father not mother, tending to be a theater singer for overstepping her problem. The thing is, the Egyptian cinema's history isn't discovered internationally yet !

So, this is the way the east was dreaming. Now, I long for these simple, goodhearted, and – why not – naive dreams. Because after a while in Bollywood, the sex and violence increased, the leads became suddenly rich brats, and the music and dance converted to American. It's not how the Indian cinema keeps up with what's happening, or expresses a new generation; it's frankly how it sloughs off the Indian reality, people and legacy; as if Heera, the character played by (Ramesh Deo), came to be Bollywood's head movie-maker ! In a word, (Kasauti) is entertaining and Indian, and – to a considerable extent – entertaining due to being Indian.


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