‘Saagar jaisi aankhon waali, yeh toh bataa tera naam hai kya …’
Kishore Kumar, Javed Akhtar and R D Burman gave us the perfect song to describe Dimple in the movie. A standard love triangle it was aimed to showcase the chemistry of the Bobby pair, ‘Dimple & Rishi’. That Kamal silently stole the march on them is a tribute to his screen presence and acting skills.
The movie had a perfect recipe for success – it was planned as a comeback vehicle for Dimple and possibly they wanted to exploit the public craze for her popular pairing with Rishi in her début movie, ‘Bobby’. The love triangle is a ‘done-to-death’ theme in Bollywood so there wasn’t much inherent appeal to the plot. What added to the interest was the classic finish to the movie as the director applied top production values and backed it up with lovely songs and cinematography.
Kamal Haasan was an odd choice to play the second lead since notwithstanding his popular appeal after ‘Ek Duje Ke Liye’ he was still not a main stream actor in Bollywood. He preferred to focus his efforts in South Indian cinema particularly Tamil movies. Yet he turned out to be a wise choice and added heft to the story.
He steals all the scenes with his magical acts and gets the top billing for it. He features in the most popular songs except the lead numbers and shares a stronger relationship with Dimple even though it all comes down to a sacrifice at the end of it.
Kamal has been sportive about having to play the ‘good loser’. In his initial career he seemed to have made an industry of it and play similar variants in many movies including Salangai Oli, Aval Oru Thodar Kathai, Appu Raja, Aval Appadithan, Sadma etc. It could well have been a phase in his career when he was stereotyped for such roles.
O Maria remembers a peppy number feature Kamal and Dimple, while ‘Sach Mere Yaar Hai’ is the perfect ode number for unrequited love. SPB voice was a perfect choice to back up the mild-mannered Kamal. And he steals the scene in the final scenes where he denies his own love and just wants to unite Dimple and Rishi.
Over the years the movie has remained a popular choice for reruns on satellite channels and of course the songs have remained evergreen hits.