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Satyakam (1969)

 -  Drama
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 316 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 5 critic

Circa British Rule in India, Satyapriya Archarya lives a modest yet noble lifestyle with his grandfather, Satyasharan. His mother passed away while he was very young, and his dad became a ... 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
Sharmila Tagore ...
Ranjana
Robi Ghosh ...
Anantho Chatterjee
Sanjeev Kumar ...
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

Circa British Rule in India, Satyapriya Archarya lives a modest yet noble lifestyle with his grandfather, Satyasharan. His mother passed away while he was very young, and his dad became a celibate and went off on a pilgrimage, never to return. Satyapriya studies Engineering, and becomes a close friend of fellow-collegian, Narendra Sharma. India gains independence, both friends successfully obtain degrees, part ways, and Satyapriya gets employed by the United Paper Mill. He soon finds out that his employers want him to forge papers to obtain Government funds, and he resigns in protest. He also finds out that a partner of the paper mill, Kunver Vikram Singh of Bhawanigarh, had sexually molested a young woman, Ranjana, the daughter of a prostitute, and he marries her, earning the wrath of Satyasharan, who refuses to have to do anything with him. Shortly thereafter Ranjana then gives birth to Kabul. Always refusing to adapt to bribery and corruption, Satyapriya moves from town to town and... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

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Drama

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(Eastmancolor)
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Soundtracks

Abhi Kya Sunoge, Suna Toh Hasoge, Ke Hai Geet Adhura, Tarana Adhura
Sung by Lata Mangeshkar
Lyrics by Kaifi Azmi
Music by Laxmikant Shantaram Kudalkar, Pyarelal Ramprasad Sharma
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User Reviews

 
Satyakaam is a comment on the society in the form of a biopic of a fictional character

Many great men have exhorted the importance of following the path of truth, however arduous, in amazingly simple words (almost nonchalantly in many cases). Our holy relics, our Upanishads, and our two most significant historical texts- the Ramayana and the Mahabharata- too have averred vehemently that there is nothing greater than reveling in the knowledge and the spreading of truth. Hrishikesh Mukherjee, in his 1969 feature Satyakaam, pays homage to these thoughts by means of depicting the journey of a man who never wavers from this formidable path of truth.

Hrishikesh Mukherjee chooses a very complex subject and treats it in an unconventional manner. The movie is definitely a critique on our society and how we tend to ignore a lot of things while leading our lives. Through the ordeals of Satyapriya he makes a defining statement on how difficult it is for an honest man to live with his head high in today's materialistic and insensitive set-up. But at the same time through the dissonance and irritability of Satyapriya, he makes the point that it is futile to stop appreciating the life around us by becoming a cynic and seeing the worst in each and every thing. By the end of his life, Satyapriya becomes so obsessed by his ideals that he even started ignoring the interests of his own family. In a way God decided to end his trials and tribulations by giving him the lung cancer, after having given him enough time to fall in love with life. So Satyapriya can be seen as both a loser and as a winner. In my view he was more of a loser than winner, but I am sure people will form quite diverse impressions if they decide to watch this movie.

Because of my above view, I see don't see this movie as a perfect film. Although the narrative and story as such is unique and the intentions are definitely quite honest, I didn't like Satyapriya's character and was left disappointed by him- and it was his story. Of course it was how Hrishikesh Mukherjee must have intended it to be, but because of the way the story was treated, the movie failed to either inspire or educate or educate. It is lengthy and has many unnecessary sequences that don't really add up to the central theme. Also, Satyasharan's (Ashok Kumar) character is shown as caught between his Dharma and his traditions. He is neither here nor there- and so is the film in its entirety. The performances by the lead cast otherwise are indeed praiseworthy- Dharmendra especially more because he was Satyapriya- and he was the entire film.

Parting Note: More than a film, Satyakaam is a comment on the society in the form of a biopic of a fictional character. It is most certainly an important film and showcases the range of Hrishikesh Mukherjee as a director. But overall the film is not the classic that it promises it to be.

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