Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sargam - A 1992 Movie Review

This is a malayalam movie directed by Hariharan. Probably everyone in Kerala would have watched this many times. I got a chance to watch this movie yesterday.

Brilliant make - a nice mix of psychology and music.

I could identify, Vineeth, Renuka, Thilagan, and Nedumudi Venu in the movie. I wouldnt know the rest of the stars but I must say the movie has been done very well and is set in the late seventies or so it seems. Or may be the nineties itself. I would not know such a set up because I grew up in Tamil Nadu.

The whole movie has been shot in a bungalow of old times. They call it Kovilagam which seems to mean Temple. I assume that the ancestors of this family had once been very rich and provided for the families working for them and lived a kingly life with great taste towards traditional arts. The family in the movie seems to be richer as well and did have regards for arts, especially music.

Kuttan Thamburan had epilepsy and his close pal, Hari was around right from childhood to take care of him during every fit of the attack. They grow up almost like brothers. All medications prove useless and the final resort was to get him married to one of kuttan's uncle's daughter Thangamani, per the advice of the doctor (Vaidhyar) in the village. This girl and Hari were in love, but because they were bound by the affection for Kuttan Thamburan's mother Subhadra, Hari and Thangamani had to give up their love. Hari becomes very busy with his world of music and becomes a world famous in six years time. He left the village on the day of Kuttan Thamburan's wedding.

Kuttan Thamburan comes to know of his wife's love for Hari and that the whole family had known about this and still gone ahead with the marriage made him angry. He misses Hari around a lot and then with all search for Hari proving useless, Kuttan Thamburan ended his life the day after the wedding. Thangamani becomes paralysed at the sight of the shocking scene of Kuttan Thamburan's death.

Hari comes back to visit Subhadra six years later. That is when he comes to know the story of all that happened after he left Kovilagam. The once cheerful and bubbly girl Thangamani, a wonderful singer and Veena artist is presently paralysed and speech deprived as well. Hari's shock knows no bounds. Subhadra was upset all the while and Hari gave her support and she completed grieving over her son and also spoke out her mind of the guilty feeling in her; that one wrong decision of marriage ruined the entire Kovilagam.

Hari's music programmes were committed all over the world and when he decided to leave, he comes to meet Subhadra. She breathed her last when Hari sang a lovely song. The memories of the past came flooding to Thangamani's mind as she heard the song and slowly her speech came back.

The story of Sargam ends there, giving us leads to believe that Subhadra died after ensuring that finally Thangamani is in the right hands. Hari probably remarried and the great musician couple probably lived on to contribute to the music world,making their village proud.

The story also had another silent artist, who was in love with Hari. It was her big loss but it was never exaggerated, and leading us to believe that you dont always get what you want. But you generally have to accept what happens because what happens is per the norm of life.

The story has a lot of wonderful songs, by Jesudas. This movie is a muscial treat.

As for psychology, we see that Hari's father, a music teacher never really took care to discover the hidden music talent in his own son. He always wanted Hari to study which he was not really interested in. Hari's dad used to hate the times that Hari and Kuttan Thamburan spent together.

Thamburati Shubadra, loved Hari as her own son, but when it came to getting her son's health alright, she didnt think about what Hari and Thangamani would be going through to give up their love. The biggest mistake she made was the root cause of the end of Kovilagam.

Hari's sister discovered a girl's love for Hari and promised her just like that about marriage to Hari, instilling the love strong. No one asked Hari's view. If they had, this girl would not have had to wait for six years to know that Hari loved Thangamani.

Kuttan Thamburan's father's moral science was not very clear. He never had father's love ever. No one bothered to even feel what he must be going through at the times of epilepsy and the emotional outbursts that followed. They only worsened his illness to the incurable state. He discloses that he always felt unnecessary in this world especially to Kovilagam and Hari was the only perso who probably loved him. At least that was what the family made him believe.

Hari lost his mother as soon as he was born and grew up with his father and sister. So Thamburati Subadhra's motherly love kept him attracted to the house which Hari's dad never understood ever.

Thangamani lost her dad and was living with her mother in Kovilagam. Her affection for Hari soon grew into love and because she and her mom were in the tharavadu and noone else would decide to give their daughter's hand in marriage to Kuttan Thamburan, with no other support, Thangamani was forced to marry Thamburan. Had there been someone to speak for her she wouldnt have had to go through the agony.

Now, all these and many more of psychology is very evident in the movie. It seems that life is a mix of circumstances which bring experiences, which then develop into psychology and then what happens to you is mostly based on this psychology.

It is a very ordinary movie, with a different story line, strong direction sense, great choice of artists, good acting, precise characterization, heavenly music and absolute no-nonsense scenes.

If you are watching this movie to see a way to laugh or if you are under 25, then Sargam is not the right movie. But, if you are looking for a well directed movie, without tears, but with good emotions and great music, and if you want to learn to understand better, then Sargam is a great watch.


Anonymous said...

I am from Hyderabad and cannot understand Malayalam. It all started with my search for Tyagaraja keerthana "Ragasudharasa" in youtube. I could not control myself from downloading the entire movie and searching for the story narrator. Thank you. Great movie. SIR KJ, Mrs. Chithra & entire crew we owe a lot to you.


Anonymous said...

Same here too. I am Telugu speaking, and accidentally found the movie, and watched entire play list. It is also made n Telugu in the name Sarigamalu, but there is no movie, only one or two songs. I wish somebody will upload it in Telugu, so that we can enjoy even more. Really great movie and even greater songs. Heavenly music!

Anonymous said...

It is a Superb film. I would have watched more than 10 times in Malayalam and as well as telgu also. Though am from Kerala, Watched Telgu version just because of the direction and also love for the songs. Though in Telgu version some of the songs were not by Yesudas.

The film great plus point is its songs and music.And also the lyrics.

The songs are excellent.Think only Yesudas can do it.


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