I firmly believe that man is a product of his experiences, his circumstances and his environment. A person cannot give back to the society anything different from what the society has given to him / her. You pay back to the life only what you gain from it. The coin is bound to be the same in which the repayment takes place. Whenever the issue of nature versus nurture comes before me, I underscore that it’s nurture which finally matters and not the genes. Let a person go through good fostering, positive experiences and the company of nice ones and he / she will become a good man (or woman) and vice versa will follow if he / she goes through the contrary. Sachaai (1969) corroborates this thinking of mine through the story of two friends having different lines of thinking and philosophies for life.
Sachaai or Sachchai (truth) tells the tale of two close friends – Ashok (Shammi Kapoor) and Kishore (Sanjeev Kumar) who are having their education together. Ashok believes in the philosophy of eat, drink and be merry without giving a damn for moral values. Money should come to enjoy life by whatever way possible, is his thinking. On the other hand, Kishore is an idealist who believes in ethics and strictly against earning through unfair means. After their college life, these two friends decide to go their own ways in life and meet after three years to check whose philosophy turns out to be the correct one.
Ashok goes ahead according to his immoral line of thinking but a painful incident proves to be an eye-opener for him and he realizes that he was wrong for all these years. He now comes to understand the significance of ethics and virtues of life. His good fortune brings him into contact with Shobha (Saadhana) and Shobha’s pure love does not allow him to pick the wrong path anymore. His experiences consisting of both tears and smiles cleanse his heart. He joins police force and starts performing his duty to catch the criminals with utmost diligence and honesty.
Kishore, on the other hand, is shocked through his negative experiences and hardships. Circumstances bring him into the company of baddies and outlaws and the erstwhile man of principles and moral values is compelled by life to enter the world he had never thought of entering even in the wildest of his dreams in his student life. The innocent, clean-heart youth graduates to a notorious criminal known as Baaghi Sitaara in the world of crime and investigation. Ashok, now Inspector Ashok, is assigned the duty to catch Baaghi Sitaara by his department and Kishore alias Baaghi Sitaara comes to know that an honest and efficient police inspector is now on his trail. Being unaware of each other’s present identity, the separated college friends meet after a gap of three years according to the old promise. What happens thereafter is the climax of this story.
Sachaai is a formula-based potboiler and the filmmaker has not tried to make a great movie. But the theme itself is so good that by default and due to the admirable performances of both the protagonists, the movie has turned out to be something that cannot be termed as ordinary. The script follows the oft-beaten path but still it manages to pull off not only as an entertaining flick but also a message-rendering impressive tale. The film is interesting right from the start to the finish and the regular twists appearing in the narrative do not allow the viewer to get bored even for a minute.
Performances have lifted the screenplay further. Shammi Kapoor and Sanjeev Kumar are the pillars of the movie and both of them have performed exceedingly well, rendering reliability to their roles. When this movie was made, Shammi Kapoor was at the peak of his career as the leading man in the movies whereas Sanjeev Kumar was fast carving a niche for himself by proving his versatility in acting. However both of them have complimented each other pretty well on the screen and made the movie worth watching more than once. Gorgeous Saadhana has also done her part well. The supporting cast including Praan in a significant role, is also well in place. Johnny Walker has done good comedy.
Shankar-Jaikishan’s music is admirable. Rajender Krishan has penned the beautiful lyrics. The popular romantic duet of Rafi and Asha – Sau Baras Ki Zindagi Se Achchhe Hain Pyar Ke Do Chaar Din is the best song of the album. Asha’s solos – More Sainyaan Pakade Baiyan and Beet Chali Haay Raam are also good. However situational and theme-linked songs like Aye Dost Mere Maine Duniya Dekhi Hai (a duet of Rafi and Manna Dey) and Mere Gunaah Maaf Kar (Rafi) are the songs which support and push the narrative.
All the technical aspects of the movie are in order. Length is also appropriate. As said earlier, the movie does not bore at any place and maintains the curiosity of the viewer throughout. While recommending this good movie unconditionally to all the movie buffs, I reiterate that the society should give such a positive treatment to the budding individual that he grows up into an ideal citizen because he can give back to the society only what he gets from it in the first place.
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