Saturday, February 6, 2010

Suhaagan(1986)

It's been a few years since I last watched this movie. It used to make frequent appearances in my DVD player on lazy Sunday afternoons. This post will serve as the write-up I meant to do a while ago, but without the aid of Wikipedia, imdb, or the currently misplaced DVD itself. What follows is totally off-the-cuff and based on my faulty memory:

Sridevi and Padmini Kolhapure are sisters. (I forget their characters' names, and I'm not going to look.) Sridevi is the oldest, and spends most of the day reading(and daydreaming?). Their father is a...landlord? He loans money to a lot people and as a result, the family isn't as well-off as it could/would/should be. One day, Sridevi runs into a guy I'll call Dreamboat because again, I don't want to "cheat" and actually get everyone's names straight. Anyway...Dreamboat is a former flame, I think, and he reads a lot, or his father does. I recall Sridevi purusing his bookshelves and selecting a book(or did he choose it for her?). I can't remember the title but I believe it was a paperback.

Sridevi wants to marry Dreamboat(or vice versa) but her father is worried about the dowry. He wants her to marry a farmboy?, played by Jeetendra. Jeetendra is one of those reliable, good-hearted, hard-working guys who most families love. Anyhow, Jeetendra loves Sridevi but she doesn't give him the time of day. However, they end up getting married because her father doesn't have to worry about paying dowry, and maybe also because he likes Jeetendra and thinks he's a better marriage choice than Dreamboat. Dreamboat's father comes to the house to give his consent for Dreamboat and Sridevi's marriage, but he's too late, he overhears Sridevi's dad making marriage plans with Jeetendra.

Let's see...oh! Jeetendra and Sridevi's first night. It's actually similiar to the first night Sridevi has with Anil Kapoor in Judaai. She complains about the heat, and the hard mattress, I think, and Jeetendra takes her over to the window and points out the people who are sleeping on the ground because they don't have homes. "Be thankful for what you have" and all that. Um...they have a baby, a girl. Sridevi is frustrated with married life. Jeetendra walks in on her one day while she's yelling at her daughter in the crib. He scolds her(Sridevi). She's miserable. Somehow, Shakti Kapoor, the local nuisance/pervert, comes into all this, convincing her one night in the woods to run away with Dreamboat. Not out of the kindness of his heart, but because he wants to shame her dad. Sridevi falls for the ploy and sneaks off into the night with Dreamboat. But it's not exactly happy times. She has the stigma of walking out on her husband and daughter, and living with a man she's not married to. One of her teachers comes by the house and, in a long-winded, roundabout way, calls her a dirty hoor. (I can't recall if he gave Dreamboat the same scarlet letter treatment, but I'm inclined to say no, just because, double-standard and all.) After he leaves, Sridevi, feeling lower than low, tries to light herself on fire, but Dreamboat stops her. The next day? Sridevi finds Dreamboat dead from self-poisoning. He may or may not have a left a note.

Sridevi returns home, but of course, being a shamed woman and all, she's not allowed back in the house. I believe she was living in the barn, or somewhere far from her parents home. In the meantime, Padmini and Jeetendra got married, and were raising Sridevi's daughter, who she meets one day, but her daughter doesn't know that the woman she's talking to is her mother since she was still a baby when Sridevi abandonned her. I don't remember what happened afterwards, so I'll jump ahead with this SPOILER ALERT:

Sridevi dies at the end. I want to say it was from heartbreak, but I don't think so. However, I vividly recall thinking, "She makes a good-looking corpse." Seriously. She looked so peaceful and childlike. She was very good at playing a dead person.

Yeah, that was a jumbled mess. Perhaps one day I'll come back and clean it up, but for now I'll leave it as is. Feel free to correct and/or fill-in-the-blanks. In the meantime, I'll continue trying to remove the writer's block I'm currently experiencing with my Boss post.

2 comments:

bollywoodfoodclub said...

Namaste!
Nice write up of the film. I was online looking for more on the film since I'd seen it just the other day. I can't figure out who the actor you call "Dreamboat" Murli is played by? I can find no filmography that's accurate, the IMDB is sparse and also incorrect. Any ideas about who he is?
Thanks,
All the best!
SIta-ji

lapetitediva said...

I have no idea. I may or may not have seen him in another movie from that time period. And I forget where I put the DVD, so I can't check the cast listing on that.