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Aradhana ( Adoration) - 1969
This was a film produced in 1969 by producer director Shakti Samantha , who was known for his Romantic suspense thrillers. Earlier he had produced popular films like Howrah Bridge ( Madhubala - Ashok Kumar) , China Town ( Shammi Kapoor- Shakila, helen) , Detective ( Pradeep Kumar- Mala Sinha) , Naughty Boy ( Kishore Kumar- Mala Sinha).
His films had a gripping suspenseful storyline, an excellent star cast and fabulous background music and songs. Shakti Samantha is one of the biggest producer directors of the Hindi film Industry and his films were eagerly awaited by the audience. Unlike many old Producer directors who gave up making films after the golden period of the fifties and sixties , Shakti samantha continued to make films right into the eighties. He came up with some stunners like , Amar Prem, Mehbooba and Barsaat ki ek raat in the seventies and the eighties . He is still active taking care of the Indian Censor board having reformed it quite a bit during his tenure.
Aradhana is probably his most popular film to date. Shakti Samantha broke away from his tradition of making suspense thrillers and attempted an out and out Romance . And he came up with a winner - a spectacular film . It broke many records and made Rajesh Khanna a superstar. It made Kishore Kumar , already a very popular and versatile singer a name to reckon with .
It is a much loved film which is probably seen by most Hindi film lovers who love films of the sixties and seventies...It is an extremely romantic film complete with 2 good looking stars who shared a sizzling chemistry on screen amidst the breathtakingly beautiful locale of Himachal Pradesh and Kulu Manali, exchanged long meaningful glances and sang some of the most romantic duets that have stayed fresh in the memory of the viewers.
It fetched Filmfare awards to Sharmila Tagore for her stunning performance and for Shakti Samantha for Best film, S.D.Burman got the Best Music award and Kishore Kumar walked away with the best singer award for his sultry number 'Roop tera mastaana...till today filmgoers feel that the song picturisation is the most sensuous ever picturised on Hindi film screen.
It begins with Vandana ( Sharmila Tagore ) being sentenced for murder. She is sent to prison to serve a life sentence, and then as she looks out of the window, she goes back in time to her happier love filled days...The film is then shown in flash back.
Vandana returns home and meets an attractive Airforce officer Arun ( Rajesh Khanna) they are instantly attracted and their romance is blessed by her father Dr Tripathi ( Pahadi sanyal) and Arun's boss Air commodore Ganguly ( Ashok kumar) . The lovers are happy and get married in secret , even as the elders are preparing to get them formally married. They spend a passionate night together and Arun is sent on a routine duty flight where he has a crash and gets killed. Vandana's world crumbles and sometime later when she realises that she is pregnant she is devastated, but is determined to have her love child no matter what ....her father dies and she is left all alone, when she gives birth to a son, and calls him Suraj , a name decided by Arun and her during their happier times. On the advise of a kindly doctor , she gives Suraj for adoption , but at the same time she works as a nursemaid in the same house taking her of her child , without the owners realising the truth. But she faces more difficulties in this household as her beauty attracts unwanted attention leading to murder....
This is one of my most favorite films to date and I have lost count of the number of times I have seen this film. I still can remember it scene by scene. I don't know where to begin because the film is A+ in every single aspect. A perfect Romance that tugs at your heart !
Rajesh Khanna has given a wonderful, great performance, and he became a cult hero after the super success of this film. He looks handsome and this is a role tailor made for him. He has a double role as the father and son, and it has been carefully perceived so that the two look and act differently. His performance is effective in both the roles, though I liked the Role of Arun better..He and Sharmila look really sweet and romantic. I am told Pataudi ( cricket player ) Sharmila's husband was quite jealous of this screen chemistry as they had just been married and he felt quite possessive of his lovely wife ..
Sharmila Tagore looks her best in this film, elegant and with those dimpled smiles and coy, shy glances - she is simply stunning. I simply love all those lovely ethnic sarees she wears with the sixties long haired look and the matching flowers in her hair . Sharmila is able to carry herself beautifully and makes a great impact on the screen. She is one of the most attractive heroines on the Hindi film screen and this is one of her best roles, which fetched her an award. She is most remembered for her role in this film.
The others in the cast Farida Jalal as Suraj's (Rajesh Khanna , the son) girl friend, is spontaneous and looks delightful inspite being plump and slightly overweight.
The others include Sujit Kumar, as Madan , Arun's friend and Ashok Kumar have given able support and all the cahracters blend well with the story. Old timers Abhi Bhattacharya and Anita Guha as the adopted parents of Suraj have important roles in this film.
The direction by Shakti Samantha is exceptional.
The music of this film is superb, and all the songs were/are char tbusters. The most popular song being Kishore Kumar's ' Roop tera mastana ' the ultimate sensuous romantic song..
I love the duet 'Kora kagaz tha yeh man mera' - Sharmila looks ravishing and the two Rajesh and herself look so much in love as they romp around the beautiful Kulu Manli hillside..and another lovely picturisation is the song ';Gunguna rahai hai banwar , again picturised on the two in Gulmarg on the snow and the flower gardens...
This is a film not to be missed, can be seen a few number of times and each time you enjoy it a little more , I do so each time I watch this fabulous film..
Casting : Rajesh Khanna, Sharmila Tagore, Farida Jalal, Sujith kumar, Madan Puri, Anita Guha, Abhi Bhattacharya
Director : Shakti Samanta
Producer : Shakti Samanta
Music Dir : S D Burman
Lyricist : Anand Bakshi
Run time : 164 mins
Language: Hindi with English sub titles
Number of discs: 1
Filmfare Awards received :-
Best Film Of the Year
Best Actress for Sharmila tagore
Best Feature Film In Hindi
Best Male Playback Singer for Kishore Kumar's Roop Tera Mastana..