Abhimaan was released in the year 1973, the year that saw Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bhaduri officially tie the knot and become husband and wife. In fact they got married just seven days prior to the filming of the song ‘Teri Bindiya Re”. For many industry watchers the plot of the film could have become a real life incident, had Jaya Bhaduri not put on the breaks on her career after her marriage. People still speculate as to whether real life would have imitated reel life had not the superstar’s wife sacrificed her career. However all that is conjecture and takes away from the breath taking sensitivity of this wonderful film.
Subir Kumar (Amitabh Bachchan) is a popular singer who rules over millions of hearts courtesy his songs. His dashing good looks and silken voice are especially irresistible to his legions of female supporters. Subir himself is a carefree young man who enjoys his stardom and his bachelorhood. Chandu (Asrani) is his manager cum best friend and someone keeps him rooted to reality. Subir goes to meet his aunt (Manju Mausi, Durga Khote) and there he meets Uma, whose golden voice enthrals him and whose earthy unaffected charm attracts him. He ends up falling in love with Uma and the two ties the knot.
Back in Bombay, Subir and Uma settle into domestic bliss and soon the husband decides to launch his wife as a professional singer. And that is the starting point of all problems. As Uma’s career takes off, Subir’s career begins to falter. Even as her career touches new highs, her marriage hits rock bottom as Subir is consumed by jealousy and guilt. He hits the bottle and soon things become so bitter that Uma moves back to her father’s place. There she discovers she is pregnant and waits for Subir to come and fetch her. He does not and she suffers a miscarriage that pushes her into depression.
Subir realises his mistake and comes to take her back home but she receives him without any happiness-like almost a piece of wood. Whether Subir is able to bring back Uma from her abyss; whether Uma sings again; and whether the couple reunite forms the climax of the film.
Abhimaan is considered by many to be one of the finest Hindi films. It scores on many fronts. Firstly Hrishikeh Mukherjee’s sensitive direction lends the film the right emotional note. S.D.Burman’s haunting melodies almost act like a character for the film, bringing out all the emotions experienced by the actors. Superb acting by the cast-be it Amitabh Bachchan, Asrani, Durga Khote-makes this film such a treat to watch. However the film is outstanding because of the way Jaya Bhaduri captures Uma through her silence and unspoken hurt.
Songs / lyrics from the movie:
1. Nadiya Kinare (link)
2. Teri Bindiya Re (link)
3. Meet Na Mila Re Man Ka (link)
4. Ab Toh Hai Tumse (link)
5. Tere Mere Milan (link)
6. Lootey Koi Man Ka Nagar (link)
7. Piya Bina (link)