Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sharaabi - The neglect of a child (Amitabh) (1984)

Time and again a successful actor-director pairing is able to turn even the most conventional, oft narrated story into a classic. Prakash Mehra and Amitabh Bachchan had this magical quality about most of their films. Even the mundane became special. Sharaabi, released in 1984 turned out to be one of the biggest hits of this pairing. Superb acting, wonderful songs and a taut screenplay helped to tell a story that was nothing out of the ordinary. It touched the hearts of millions of people and helped to take Amitabh Bachchan’s already flying career to even greater heights.

Bachchan plays the role of Vicky, a rich kid born with gold and diamond studded spoon in his mouth. But he is also a sad rich kid as his father Amarnath (Pran) has very little time for him and the poor kid has no mother. Longing for his father’s love, Vicky seeks refuge in the comfort of alcohol from a very young age. By the time he reaches adulthood he is a full-fledged alcoholic whose mornings are spent guzzling the best whiskeys and nights spent the very same way. His only emotional anchoring comes in the form of Munshiji, a superlative Om Prakash, who loves him like his own flesh and blood. It is due to the presence of this man in his life that despite his alcoholism, Vicky is able to retain an innate goodness about him as is illustrated by the way he helps out those employed by his father.

The other beacon of light in his otherwise dark existence is a small time singer by the name of Meena (Jayaprada). Amarnath wants Vicky to marry a rich man’s daughter but Vicky refuses to do so, seeing in this his father’s attempt to increase his wealth. Amarnath too does not want Meena as his daughter-in-law suspecting her to be a gold digger. One day father and son have a huge showdown where bitter words are exchanged and Amarnath turns Vicky out of the house, challenging Vicky to fend for himself without the support of his father’s wealth. Vicky walks out gladly with the ever loving Munshiji. In his struggle to earn a living he loses this beloved guardian and that marks the turning point of the story as he gives up alcohol for good. Vicky’s reconciliation with Amarnath and the latter’s acceptance of Meena forms the climax of the story.

This movie deserves as much kudos for Amitabh’s acting as for Om Prakash’s sensitive portrayal of Munshiji. They are each other’s perfect foil and add a touch of simple pathos to the story. A special mention must be made of the scene in which a heartbroken Vicky swears to go off alcohol as Munshiji dies in his arms. Jayaprada too is very good as Meena as is Pran and the rest of the cast. Bappi Lahiri’s music is very good and has hits like De De pyar de. Finally Prakash Mehra deserves a huge round of applause for giving us a wonderfully entertaining and heart touching film.

Songs and lyrics from the movie:

1. Log Kehte hain (link)

2. Jahan Chaar yaar (link)

3. Manzilein Apni Jagah Hai (link)

4. De De Pyar De (link)

5. Mujhe naulakkha Manga De Re (link)

6. Inteha Ho Gayi Intezar Ki (link)

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