Saturday, January 23, 2010

Movie Review: Rajanigandha (Night-Fragrant) (Hindi Film) (1974)

Rajani-gandha means Night-Fragrant. And no, its not a semi-porn Hindi film as its title sounds. Rajnigandha is a flower (Polianthes tuberosa to be precise).

And what a delight this flower-film turned out to be. I wonder how the hell the producer summoned the courage to finance this simple tale.

And what a charming tale. A simple tale simply told. Vidya Sinha, a beautiful, shy (though not excessively so), confident (though not excessively so) girl is in a committed relationship with Amol Palekar, a minor employee in an organization. AP can behave like the typical male at times, more engrossed in his problems (of a prospective promotion at the office) than hers. But inspite of her irritations with him, he is committed to her, is sincere and a promising future together awaits.

And into this routine comes an interview call for VS, from a faraway city, Mumbai / Bombay (or Bambai as its known to the Hindi-speaking world). She travels to this city to stay with a friend and bumps across an estranged lover. Old sparks ignite, more in her mind than anywhere else. And mentally she strays even after her return to Delhi, her base location. Until reality dawns…….

That’s it, this is the premise on which 2-3 hours of film reel are spent. But it sure was worth every penny………

The film revolves around Vidya Sinha, her moods, the daily events in her lives, the games her mind plays, her vacillations, her discomfiture, her dreams, her emotions, small and big. And she excels. With such a simple story, had the female lead not had a fluid face and excellent emoting, the film would have fallen flat on its face.

AP and others are really incidental to the story.

And who can resist such charm

The songs are just two, of which Rajani Gandha Phool Tumhare is the one remembered to this day

Watch it, it is film making in its simplicity and in its essence.

Starring: Vidya Sinha, Amol Palekar, Dinesh Thakur
Based on Manoo Bhandari’s ‘Yeh Sach Hai’
Lyrics: Yogesh
Playback: Lata, Mukesh
Editing: G.G.Mayekar
Cinematography: K.K.Mahajan
Music: Salil Chowdhary
Produced by Suresh Jindal
Screenplay, Dialogue and Directed by Basu Chatterjee


Beth said...

That looks lovely! I love the idea of a story really turning on the female lead, too.

Nirvana said...

Thanks Beth. Vidya Sinha has really impressed me in the 2 films of her that i have seen recently. Hope to do more viewing of Madame Sinha in the days to come