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Cinema

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ARTH (1982) Language: Hindi Director: Mahesh Bhatt Cast: Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Raj Kiran One of the must-see top-25 films of all times compiled by Indiatimes. com is Arth that brought to the fore the extra-marital theme, has played out in several Bollywood films in the last three decades and continues to remain an eternal favourite. Based on Mahesh Bhatt's own life, the film that talks of him being torn between his wife (Kiran) and his lover (Parveen Babi) sent shockwaves through the film industry because of the stark nature of its sensitive content. On reel, Kulbhushan Kharbanda is shown as Inder, the man torn between his orphan wife Pooja and his actress-mistress Kavita. The confrontation scenes between Smita and Shabana continue to be a reference point for most filmmakers who dabble with the pati, patni aur woh scenario. Bhatt feels that the reason why this film remains an eternal favourite is because two people on board - Smita and he - brought their real life experiences to it. "Even 26 years after Arth, Smita's performance in the film remains etched in the memory of the Indian nation because the lines were blurred between real and reel life. I would narrate to Smita what I had lived through and she brought to her performance what she was experiencing. Smita would bring those emotional scars to the sets and bare it all in front of the camera. It required tremendous courage, " says Bhatt. The music of Arth, credited to ghazal maestros Jagjit and Chitra Singh (Tum itna jo muskura rahe ho), with lyrics by Kaifi Azmi, also played a major role in making the film a cult classic.

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December 11, 2010


ARTH (1982) Language: Hindi Director: Mahesh Bhatt Cast: Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Raj Kiran One of the must-see top-25 films of all times compiled by Indiatimes. com is Arth that brought to the fore the extra-marital theme, has played out in several Bollywood films in the last three decades and continues to remain an eternal favourite. Based on Mahesh Bhatt's own life, the film that talks of him being torn between his wife (Kiran) and his lover (Parveen Babi) sent shockwaves through the film industry because of the stark nature of its sensitive content. On reel, Kulbhushan Kharbanda is shown as Inder, the man torn between his orphan wife Pooja and his actress-mistress Kavita. The confrontation scenes between Smita and Shabana continue to be a reference point for most filmmakers who dabble with the pati, patni aur woh scenario. Bhatt feels that the reason why this film remains an eternal favourite is because two people on board - Smita and he - brought their real life experiences to it. "Even 26 years after Arth, Smita's performance in the film remains etched in the memory of the Indian nation because the lines were blurred between real and reel life. I would narrate to Smita what I had lived through and she brought to her performance what she was experiencing. Smita would bring those emotional scars to the sets and bare it all in front of the camera. It required tremendous courage, " says Bhatt. The music of Arth, credited to ghazal maestros Jagjit and Chitra Singh (Tum itna jo muskura rahe ho), with lyrics by Kaifi Azmi, also played a major role in making the film a cult classic.

BHUMIKA (1977) Language: Hindi Director: Shyam Benegal Cast: Smita Patil, Naseeruddin Shah, Amol Palekar, Anant Nag, Amrish Puri Shyam Benegal's Bhumika, for which Smita Patil won the National Award, remains one of her best films. And it also remained one of her personal favourites. In fact, even the recent Smita Patil retrospective in New York was called Bhumika- The roles of Smita Patil. This film was reportedly based on Hansa Wadkar, the famous Marathi screen and film actress of '40s, who is said to have lived life unconventionally. And though Smita did the film very early in her career (she was just about 22), she showed her true potential as an actress by transforming herself from a vivacious teenager to an emotionally scarred middle-aged woman. For me, Bhumika's Usha/Urvashi had small traces of Guide's Rosie (Waheeda Rehman). And though there are no exact references to be drawn, Usha's disillusionment with Keshav (Amol Palekar) had a similar feel as Rosie's disillusionment with Raju (Dev Anand. ) Watching Bhumika, you constantly feel a sense of deja vu. You see Smita get so involved in her various roles on screen because you know somewhere there's a desire to forget who she actually is or what she is going through. In hindsight, it seems like Smita was drawn to roles that made her explore the depths of emotion. For even without her own admission, she was battling emotional scars through her films, just as she was in life. How else can one explain the goosebumps you get watching her play an exploited actress, her shock, her anguish and her constant search for true love?

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December 11, 2010


BHUMIKA (1977) Language: Hindi Director: Shyam Benegal Cast: Smita Patil, Naseeruddin Shah, Amol Palekar, Anant Nag, Amrish Puri Shyam Benegal's Bhumika, for which Smita Patil won the National Award, remains one of her best films. And it also remained one of her personal favourites. In fact, even the recent Smita Patil retrospective in New York was called Bhumika- The roles of Smita Patil. This film was reportedly based on Hansa Wadkar, the famous Marathi screen and film actress of '40s, who is said to have lived life unconventionally. And though Smita did the film very early in her career (she was just about 22), she showed her true potential as an actress by transforming herself from a vivacious teenager to an emotionally scarred middle-aged woman. For me, Bhumika's Usha/Urvashi had small traces of Guide's Rosie (Waheeda Rehman). And though there are no exact references to be drawn, Usha's disillusionment with Keshav (Amol Palekar) had a similar feel as Rosie's disillusionment with Raju (Dev Anand. ) Watching Bhumika, you constantly feel a sense of deja vu. You see Smita get so involved in her various roles on screen because you know somewhere there's a desire to forget who she actually is or what she is going through. In hindsight, it seems like Smita was drawn to roles that made her explore the depths of emotion. For even without her own admission, she was battling emotional scars through her films, just as she was in life. How else can one explain the goosebumps you get watching her play an exploited actress, her shock, her anguish and her constant search for true love?

NISHANT (1975) Language: Hindi Director: Shyam Benegal Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Girish Karnad, Amrish Puri, Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil A poster of Smita Patil standing against a brilliant old doorway, with her finger hooked into the centre chain, still remains etched in the minds of the actress' fans. Nishant is the story of a zamindar(Naseeruddin Shah) who abducts a school-teacher's wife for his sexual exploits. Smita played Rukmini, the naïve, jealous and distraught wife of the zamindar, who can do little to stop her husband from straying. Many have argued that the Shabana Azmi (Sushila)-Smita Patil (Rukmini) screen confrontation that culminated into the big fight in Arth, began here in this film. Smita had the smaller role in Nishant. But, of course, she was always up to the challenge. Nishant rarely features on a list of movies in a Smita Patil retrospective because of films like Bhumika, Chakra, Manthan, Bazaar and Umbartha, where she had bigger and more important parts to play. But Nishant is particularly significant for Smita fans (though her role may be even passed off as a cameo), because she showed how the length of a role should not - and would not - be a deterrent for an actor to prove his mettle. The film, written by playwright Vijay Tendulkar - has other laurels to its credit, besides just Smita's performance. It focuses on the power of the rural elite and the sexual exploitation of women. It was nominated at the Cannes Film Festival in 1976 and even went on to win the National Award for the best feature film in 1977.

Full screen

December 11, 2010


NISHANT (1975) Language: Hindi Director: Shyam Benegal Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Girish Karnad, Amrish Puri, Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil A poster of Smita Patil standing against a brilliant old doorway, with her finger hooked into the centre chain, still remains etched in the minds of the actress' fans. Nishant is the story of a zamindar(Naseeruddin Shah) who abducts a school-teacher's wife for his sexual exploits. Smita played Rukmini, the naïve, jealous and distraught wife of the zamindar, who can do little to stop her husband from straying. Many have argued that the Shabana Azmi (Sushila)-Smita Patil (Rukmini) screen confrontation that culminated into the big fight in Arth, began here in this film. Smita had the smaller role in Nishant. But, of course, she was always up to the challenge. Nishant rarely features on a list of movies in a Smita Patil retrospective because of films like Bhumika, Chakra, Manthan, Bazaar and Umbartha, where she had bigger and more important parts to play. But Nishant is particularly significant for Smita fans (though her role may be even passed off as a cameo), because she showed how the length of a role should not - and would not - be a deterrent for an actor to prove his mettle. The film, written by playwright Vijay Tendulkar - has other laurels to its credit, besides just Smita's performance. It focuses on the power of the rural elite and the sexual exploitation of women. It was nominated at the Cannes Film Festival in 1976 and even went on to win the National Award for the best feature film in 1977.

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Reader's opinion (1)

Aboo BackerJan 4th, 2011 at 21:16 PM

songs were relly superb.. jagjiths voice so haunting.....

 
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