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Saaransh (1984)

 -  Drama  -  25 May 1984 (India)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 598 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 3 critic

An old couple lend a room on rent after recent death of the bread earner of the family, their only son. A budding actress starts living with them, who is in love with a local politician's only son. The movie shows what later ensues.

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Title: Saaransh (1984)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rohini Hattangadi ...
Parvati Pradhan (as Rohini Hattangady)
...
B.V. Pradhan
Soni Razdan ...
Sujata Suman
Madan Jain ...
Vilas Chitre
Suhas Bhalekar ...
Vishwanath
Alok Nath ...
Pandit / Astrologer
Akash Khurana ...
Chief Minister Shashikant (as Aakash Khurana)
Vijay Kashyap ...
Dr. Bhatt
Kishore Jariwala
Suresh Chatwal ...
Police Inspector
Salim Ghouse ...
Gajanan Chitre's Goon (with acid)
Arun Bakshi ...
Gajanan Chitre's Goon
Sankalp Dubey
Rajesh Kumar
Haidar Ali ...
Hyder Ali
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Storyline

Devastated to learn that their only child, a son, has been killed by muggers in New York City, former Headmaster B.B. Pradhan and his wife, Parvati, grieve. With their son dead, there is no income coming in, so they rent out a room, in their Shivaji Park (Bombay) apartment to a budding Bollywood actress, Sujata Suman, who has been having an illicit affair with the only son (Vilas) of a politician named Gajanan Chitre. Vilas lacks the guts to tell his father that he is in love and would like to marry Sujata, and hence puts off any marriage plans. They do get intimate and as a result Sujata gets pregnant. When Pradhan finds out, he offers to take Sujata to meet Gajanan with the hope that he will permit her to become his daughter-in-law. But Gajanan not only refuses, he also threatens them, he warns them of dire consequences if Sujata does not abort the child, and moves away to another town. Pradhan refuses to let Sujata out of his house, and then begins the stalking and harassment by ... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

25 May 1984 (India)  »

Also Known As:

The Gist  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sanjeev Kumar was asked to do Anupam Kher's role by Rajshri. But Mahesh insisted on Anupam Kher. See more »

Quotes

B.V. Pradhan: Parvati, the lines on your face symbolize the gist of my life!
See more »

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References Mother India (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

 
People die, but life never does
30 July 2010 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

This is the story of former Headmaster B.V Pradhan and his wife, Parvati, an elderly Bombay couple who are still mourning the death of their only son, who was murdered in a mugging incident in New York. Their grief is immense, and each one of them deals with this tragedy differently. While the husband finds no hope in life and cannot see himself dealing with this situation, the wife does not lose faith in God and is convinced that her son will be reborn soon as suggested by a respected pandit. The couple, quite short of money, decide to rent their late son's room to a paying guest named Sujata, a budding actress who is having an affair with Vilas, the son of an influential politician. Life changes afterwards for the old couple. When Sujata finds out she is pregnant, Parvati considers it as the answer to her prayers, thinking that the child Sujata carries is the reincarnation of her son. But Vilas refuses to take responsibility, while the headmaster and Parvati decide to support Sujata no matter what. When Vilas' father gets to know about this, their life turns into one big nightmare. That's when the film turns from a drama into a semi-thriller.

Saaransh is an interesting watch, and is definitely one of Mahesh Bhatt's finest works. It is poignant, involving and moving. The script is very genuinely written, and the execution is quite well done, albeit a bit exaggerated at times. Bhatt presents Bombay as a very dark city of corruption, danger and violence, where life can be really miserable for the elderly and the poor. Old people are shown to be given no respect, and the police is presented as corrupted and careless. But this very depiction actually helped to highlight the courage of this old couple to face them all and stand for what they believe. The film worked more as a drama rather than a thriller. The suspense did work, but the film's main theme, which is the pain of losing your child was much more powerful. One could really feel their pain and understand the headmaster's despair and attempts at suicide, as well as Parvati's fervent and self-convincing beliefs. The film is full of touching moments, all of which are very easy to relate to. That's all due to the well-written dialogues, the simple sets, the limited number of songs which too play only over montage sequences, and of course the lack of overdone melodrama.

The portrayal of BV and Parvati's relationship is heartwarming. They are there for each other, and that's what gives them the strength to struggle and go on despite the pain. These two remarkable elderly characters are played by Anupam Kher and Rohini Hattangadi, who ironically had not even reached their thirties at the time. People unaware of their real age could easily think their real age is as presented in the movie, and this explains why they were often typecast in such roles in mainstream Hindi cinema afterwards. This is actually Anupam Kher's first film, and his performance easily ranks amongst his best. He is phenomenal in this role, getting everything about his character absolutely spot on, whether it's his expressions, his body language or his emotional outbursts. Hattangadi is marvelous as Parvati, the optimistic, decisive and supportive wife, who finds solace in her beliefs and prefers living in her own bubble rather than accept reality as it is. Sony Razdan is too well cast and does an excellent job as Sujata.

Saaransh is a great emotional drama. The film's ending is, as in most of Bhatt's films of those times, fantastic. It makes one understand that life is to be cherished, even in the most dire of circumstances.


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