Ganga Singh lives near Gangotri with her brother, Karam. One day she comes to the assistance of a young man, Narendra Sahay, who has come with a group of Calcutta-based college students to ... See full summary »
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Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
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Ganga Singh lives near Gangotri with her brother, Karam. One day she comes to the assistance of a young man, Narendra Sahay, who has come with a group of Calcutta-based college students to study the source of the holy river Ganga, and to get some holy water for his wheelchair-bound paternal grandma. Both are attracted to each other, and on the next Puran Mashi get married, and spend the night in close intimacy. Narendra leaves, but promises Ganga that he will be back soon. Months go by, but he does not return. She gives birth to a son, and as soon she is able to, she starts her journey to Alipor, Calcutta, to confront Narendra and ensure a better future for their son. At Rishikesh she is exploited by two women and a man, escapes and takes shelter in a crematorium. Then at Banaras, she is molested by a Pandit, rescued by the police and given a ticket to Calcutta. When she alights en-route to get water for her baby, the train leaves, and she falls into the clutches of a Manilal who ... Written by
Naren is a simple man and son of an influential businessman in Calcutta. He goes to Himalayas on vacations and meets Ganga a local Himalayan girl. They fall in love and get married. Naren decides to go home and gain his family's confidence before he can take Ganga home. Naren comes back home and finds that his father has fixed his marriage with an ambitious politician Bhagwat Chowdhary's daughter. Naren sends Kunj, his maternal uncle and his well wisher, to fetch Ganga but Ganga, now pregnant, has already left alone from Himalayas to Calcutta. The whole journey of Ganga from Gangotri to Calcutta depicts the poor condition of women in the Indian society.
First half of the film is perfect for toilet breaks, cigarette, pop corn and probably grocery. How long can you tolerate two bad actors that too together? Movie begins when Ganga leaves Himalayas for Calcutta. Ganga, traveling from Gangotri to Calcutta, represents river Ganga which starts from Himalayas and through northern plains reaches Calcutta and merges into Bay of Bengal. River Ganga is revered by Indians as god from ancient times. River Ganga get polluted on its way and the first bank which pollutes river Ganga is Haridwar and so Ganga (Mandakini) tastes her stint with fate in Haridwar. By the time she reaches Varanasi Ganga loses its purity. River Ganga flows almost like sewer water after that and that's what happens to the protagonist. She is sold bought raped and beaten by the time she reaches Calcutta. I find this film extremely romantic and spiritual. It talks about the fate of millions of innocent girls sold in India and the medium it uses is mind blowing. This film always reminds me of Bicycle thief. Sica used a bicycle to expose post world war Italy and Raj Kapoor has used a river to expose the double standards of Indian culture. At one point in time Ganga sleeps in a funeral house and consoles herself saying that dead ones are better than those living. Characterization is brilliant for example Kunj visits brothels but he loud mouths about it. Manilal is a pimp, a gray character, becomes a blind man to trap Ganga. Raj Kapoor says a lot through Manilal's black goggles. Some of the scenes are very bold. In one of the scenes Ganga, in a train to Varanasi, is feeding her infant son while men look at each other and smile.
Acting wise Raza Murad and Saeed Jaffery are brilliant and soul of the film. Rajiv Kapoor couldn't do worse. 'Mandagini' could and she did. Music of the film is exceptional. All the songs except for 'Sun Saiba' and 'Main Hee Main Hoon' are beautiful and meaningful. I think it's the best score by 'Ravindra Jain' so far (better than even 'Nadiya Ke Paar' and 'Chitchor'). Lata Mangeshkar's voice is beginning to crack by this time and so male versions are an automatic preference. This film was released in the same year as 'Tawaif' and so best Dialog and story awards were given to 'Tawaif' ( a very well deserved ones too) else this movie would have got those too other than best film, best director, best art director and best music. I think this is Raj Kapoor's best film if not 'Prem Rog'. Prem Rog outshines this film because of the actors (of course Rishi Kapoor in 35 mm is magic) and topic but RTGM has high points and is more dramatic. I think Raj Kapoor should have stayed away from the nudity in this film as most people saw only nudity in this film (you can tell by the reviews only) but Raj Kapoor was a businessman too so he had to do his marketing bit. This film was a huge hit. Looking at the unchanged condition of India I guess Raj Kapoor was a good seller. He sold a movie against nudity with nudity. Reminds me of Goddard's 'Contempt' but that's how it is and will be. A must watch for spiritually bent Indians.
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