Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda (The Seventh Horse of the Sun)
Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda is a timeless classic by Shyam Benegal. The strength of this film lies in its story-telling, direction, well-etched out characters and superb performances.
There are some movies which captivate you completely. This is what happened with me after watching Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda. It is a timeless classic by Shyam Benegal.
Based on a novel of the same name by Dharmavir Bharati, Shyam Benegal’s film explores how socio-economic background of a person affects the success of his/her love life.
The three stories in the film are of three girls who Manik Mulla (Rajit Kapur), the narrator, meets in his life at different times.
Manik Mulla, a raconteur par excellence, works as a railways mail supervisor and loves to narrate stories during his free time. His group comprises of three buddies, one of which is Raghuvir Yadav.
The three stories explore three different strata of society through the three main women characters. Jamuna (Rajeshwari Sachdev), is a middle class girl, Lily (Pallavi Joshi) is an intelligent, educated girl from a upper class family and Satti (Neena Gupta) belongs to lower strata of society.
The stories of these three women are actually one story told from the points of view of different characters. So at times, you will see the same scenes but shown from the perspective of a different character.
It is interesting to see how marvelously the director has shot same scenes from different angels without getting repetitive at all. No wonder Shyam Benegal is regarded as one of the finest directors in Indian cinema.
There are some scenes which are hilarious. One of the best scenes of the movie is when Jamuna reacts to the ‘baraat’ that comes to her house.
The strength of Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda lies in its story-telling, direction, well-etched out characters and superb performances by all of the actors. Rajit Kapur as Manik Mulla is outstanding. His flawless dialogue delivery, his expressions are remarkable. I have watched him in Byomkesh Bakshi earlier. Now after watching this movie, I can safely call myself a big fan of Rajit Kapur. I don’t think anybody could have played the role of Manik better than him. Wonder why a talented actor like him didn’t get the recognition he deserves?
Amrish Puri as a womanizer invokes hatred. That’s the magic of his brilliant acting to make the viewer get involved in the story and his character. Pallavi Joshi and Neena Gupta as the strong women who completely overshadow the men in the picture are convincing. Rajeshwari Sachdev too puts up a brilliant performance.
Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda takes you back to an era gone by when life was laidback, when the common mode of transport to go to your maika was a slow and leisurely tonga, when sitting at a friend’s place gossiping and listening to stories was the best pastime activity.
Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda is a classic. It is a priceless addition to my little DVD collection. I watched it once, was completely mesmerized. And would watch it again!
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