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Sangdil (1952)

7.4
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A loose adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's classic, Jane Eyre. In this version childhood sweethearts are separated and grow up in different worlds. The girl is brought up to be a 'pujaaran' (... See full summary »

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Title: Sangdil (1952)

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Shankar
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Shammi ...
Dara Singh
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Dhaayi Maa
Pratima Devi
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A loose adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's classic, Jane Eyre. In this version childhood sweethearts are separated and grow up in different worlds. The girl is brought up to be a 'pujaaran' (priestess) while the boy grows up to be a dejected 'thakur', turned vindictive by life's injustices. Fate inevitably brings them together at a later juncture, and all seems happy and perfect for the young couple, until she discovers his deep, dark secret. Written by Anonymous

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Two songs recorded for the movie soundtrack were not used in the film. 'Le Chal Wahaan Piya Jahaan Tera Mera Jiya' sung by Shamshad Begum and 'Dard Bhari Kisi Ki Yaad' sung by Asha Bhosle were omitted from the film. See more »

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Version of Jane Eyre (1963) See more »

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Woh To Chale Gaye Ae Dil
Sung by Lata Mangeshkar
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User Reviews

 
Charlotte Bronte in India
17 March 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Sangdil is a pretty loose adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, especially in the first half. Once it gets to the second half, it is much more faithful to the novel, and even includes elements that many other adaptations have left out.

The Jane and Rochester characters (called Kamla and Shankar) are childhood sweethearts separated by Shankar's mother, who acts as Aunt Reed. Kamla/Jane is still an orphan, taken in by her father's friends, who are Rochester's/Shankar's parents, and they have stolen Kamla's properties and lands (although for some reason this fact is never addressed, even when Kamla and Shankar get together). Kamla refers to them as aunt and uncle, the uncle treats her kindly and regrets stealing her lands, but the aunt treats her cruelly. When the uncle dies, the aunt decides to send Kamla to the orphanage, to separate her and Shankar. On the way to the orphanage, accompanied by the Mr Brocklehurst character, Kamla throws herself out the carriage (about the only rebellious and spunky thing she does as a child), and is found by ascetics who take her to a temple devoted to the worship of the Hindu god Shankar; where she grows up to become a priestess in the temple. Meanwhile, Shankar, the man, is forced by his mother to marry the Bertha character. After several years apart, Kamla and her temple go to Shankar's lands to perform in a harvest ceremony--Shankar is supposed to be away, but ends up coming home at the last minute with a group of friends, including the Blanche Ingram character (I don't remember what she's called in the film). Shankar doesn't recognize Kamla at first, but she knows him. From the time they meet, it does follow the Jane Eyre story more closely--there's Shankar getting thrown from his horse on his first meeting Kamla again, the fire in Shankar's bedroom, the wedding aborted by Bertha's brother, the gypsy scene (only in this version, Shankar poses as an ascetic astrologer) etc. When the wedding goes south, Kamla flees back to the temple and tries to forget him, so there's no St John character.

After Kamla and Shankar meet again, Kamla is struggling with her feelings for him, because as a priestess, she should give up worldly ties, especially with the opposite sex. So it's not just his marriage to Bertha (although she of course doesn't know about Bertha) or their different stations that keep them apart, but her religion plays a large part as well. What I did think was interesting, is that Shankar still accuses Kamla of cruelty and hardness because her faith does not allow her to shack up with him despite his wife--and at the end when they finally do get together, Kamla repeatedly asks forgiveness for "deserting him" because of that faith. This is one of the few adaptations of Bronte's novel which has kept in the religious/spirituality aspect of Jane's character, and showed how important her faith and those values were to her; which also explains why she chooses to leave Rochester. Without that aspect of her character, I don't think her reasoning is fully explained, and so I was glad to finally see a version which kept that in.

Sangdil was an interesting movie, although there were some things I didn't like. There wasn't a great deal of chemistry between the lead actors, and both Kamla and Shankar were very monotone. The actress playing Kamla/Jane as a child was pathetic, she simply didn't react most of the time to anything, whether it was the aunt being cruel, or her supposedly happy; she simply had little reaction, and she certainly wasn't angry or rebellious as Jane was supposed to be as a child. But the actress playing Kamla/Jane as an adult was pretty good, and as I've said, I liked that they addressed the spirituality part of Jane's nature more than any other version. It's also one of the first and few versions to have the gypsy scene. The actress playing Bertha falls into the same trap as almost every other actress playing her, and goes excessively over the top, and her madness seems to consist mostly of hysterical laughter, which sounded rather like a cross between a hyena and a baboon. The DVD I saw suffers a bit from poor quality, and the picture and sound weren't the best. If you're a completist like me who has to see every version of Jane Eyre you can, this version is definitely worth tracking down.


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