8.1/10
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8 user 5 critic

Satyakam (1969)

| Drama
The tale begins in the final days of the British Raj in India. A cohort of engineering students graduate a few months before Independence. Satyapriya and Naren are among the graduate ... See full summary »

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(dialogue), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ashok Kumar ...
Satyasharan 'Dadji' Acharya
...
Satyapriya 'Sath' Acharya
...
Ranjana
Robi Ghosh ...
Anantho Chatterjee
...
Narendra 'Naren' Sharma
David Abraham ...
Rustom (as David)
D.K. Sapru ...
Diwan Bajridhar Talwar (as Sapru)
Tarun Bose ...
Mr. Ladia
Rajan Haksar ...
Shyam Sunder (Manager Director) (as Rajen Haksar)
Manmohan ...
Kunver Vikram Singh
Sarika ...
Kabul S. Archarya (as Baby Sarika)
Paul Mahendra ...
(as Pal Mahinder)
Dina Pathak ...
Harbhajan's mother (as Deena Pathak)
Dev Kishan
Uma Dutt ...
Chief Engineer
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Storyline

The tale begins in the final days of the British Raj in India. A cohort of engineering students graduate a few months before Independence. Satyapriya and Naren are among the graduate engineers. The principality of Bhawanigarh is run by a cruel and dissolute man, Vikram Singh who knows his days of absolute power are numbered. Satyapriya Acharya finds employment in Bhawanigarh, meets and marries Ranjana under peculiar circumstances. This creates huge issues in his family, in particular his grandfather who raised him. Orthodoxy of the teacher clan of the Acharyas precludes admission of Ranjana into the household. Satyapriya is the epitome of integrity, refuses to utter any untruth as a consequence of which he and his family face difficulties. It takes a death in the family to bring a reinterpretation of tradition and relationships. Written by MG Gopalan

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Genres:

Drama

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(Eastmancolor)
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Soundtracks

Zindagi Hai Kya Bolo, Zindagi Hai Kya
Sung by Kishore Kumar, Mukesh, Mahendra Kapoor and chorus
Lyrics by Kaifi Azmi
Music by Laxmikant Shantaram Kudalkar, Pyarelal Ramprasad Sharma
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User Reviews

 
In search of Truth. A Masterpiece.
15 November 2013 | by (India) – See all my reviews

Satyapriya grows up on lofty and noble ideals. His blemish-less heart pursues the difficult and rocky path of Truth. His nobility is further accentuated by the presence of his best friend, the good and sincere Naren who adopts an attitude of compromising on Truth when it cannot be accommodated.

The greatness and brilliance of the movie comes from a daring attempt to derive a message from a story of defeats rather than successes and in doing so it succeeds. Satya is defeated on all accounts in life. He is unable to make peace with life and save himself from falling into helplessness against the corrupt society and ultimately turning cynical. On the other hand, Naren though successful in life is defeated as he accepts the compromise of Truth that his profession forces on him. He is defeated when his good intention to support a helpless Ranjhana is challenged by his family. Satya's grandfather Satyasharan who shaped the character of Satya is defeated when he compromises on Truth and lies to save his good name and stature.

The narrative brilliantly unfolds the defeat one faces in both the paths, the one of ardent pursuit of Truth and the other of compromise when Truth conflicts self-interest. It nudges the viewer to delve deeper into the real nature of an Absolute Truth that is beyond the duality of noble Ideals and their compromise. It pleads one to find this path that Satya longed for but never succeeded. Most striking is Hrishikesh Mukherjee's uncompromising narrative and the audacity to tell the story of utter defeat with life of all the main characters. Through this he opens a search for a higher, undiscovered meaning of Truth and the pursuit of such an existence. In the stark story of defeats he brilliantly succeeds in producing an effect exactly as he intends to.


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