Teesra Kinara is a very good but underhyped and underrated, long forgotten movie which was released in 1986, just a few months prior to the death of Smita Patil. This is a triangular relationship-based story starring Anita Raj as the third angle alongwith Smita Patil and Raj Babbar being the first two.It is a relationships based story whose plot reminds me of a very good story – Pravaasi, written by famous litterateur, Rangeya Raghav. Poet and singer Raj Babbar, living a lower middle class life in Mumbai with his wife, Smita Patil and two small sons; happens to come across his ex-flame Anita Raj who is now a widow. They could not marry in the past because of the vast gap in their financial position and status. Smita Patil is a good housewife but she has no esthetic sense whereas Anita Raj had always kept his art in high esteem and always wanted to see him on top of the world. Re-meeting her gives new wings to Raj Babbar’s ambitions and their increasing proximity brings about cracks in his marital life with Smita Patil. Misunderstandings keep on increasing between the two, ultimately leading to Raj Babbar’s leaving his home and Smita Patil giving him divorce papers, duly signed by her, thus allowing him to live a free life with Anita Raj. How the separated couple reunites, is the climax.The beauty of the narrative is that it is not based on any illicit relationship type plot. It is a neat and clean movie in which to some extent all the three protagonists are wrong and none of them is completely wrong. The threesome are all flesh and blood human-beings; neither angels, nor devils. Misunderstandings, unfulfilled expectations and communication gap result in breaking of a household but neither the wife, nor the husband is willing to take any wrong path. Even the ex-sweetheart of the hero who unwillingly becomes the third angle of the triangle, is not a vamp or a bad woman. She simply wants to see her first love getting all the name and fame he deserves. The relationship between the erstwhile separated lovers who have come across each other again by chance, is platonic, not sensual.
Let me review this very good movie through its characters :
Smita Patil as Saavitri, the wife : Saavitri is a moderately educated traditional housewife who is completely dedicated to her husband, children and household. She just enjoys her household chores and waiting for her husband in the evening without having any interest in his artistic abilities. But she is a woman of self-esteem and not ready to accommodate any other woman in her husband’s life. When her husband does not listen to her and not ready to break his relationship with the other woman, she allows him divorce but her self-esteem is so high that she does not accept any money from him for the household expenditure or fostering her children. She is not highly educated, so she gets herself trained to become a nurse and earn for the living of herself and her children. However, the man who is the father of her children, is still important for her and when he meets an accident, she prays to the Almighty for his life and applies vermilion again in the parting of her hair which is the symbol of her Suhaag (husband’s life).
Raj Babbar as Satyajeet, the husband : Satyajeet is a dutiful husband who had buried the memories of his first love in some corner of his heart and devoted himself fully to his loving wife and children. However the artist hidden in him is still alive. When it gets inspiration again from the woman he loved once; treading the path leading to name, fame and money becomes his first priority. However neither he has stopped loving his family, nor he is interested in any illicit relationship with his ex-flame. He simply expects his wife to be a bit esthetic and give moral support to the artist in him. His dialogue to his wife, Saavitri – Mard ko aurat ke shareer ke alaava usse aur bhi bahut kuchh chaahiye (Man wants a lot more from his woman than her body alone), expresses his frustration clearly.
Anita Raj as Shyamali, the ex-flame of the husband : Shyamali had once loved Satyajeet whose art and talent was adorable for her. She had always wanted the love of her life to be on top of the world. Now she is a widow and the man who was once in her life, is the man of another woman. Now she does not want anything else from him, except to sharpen his talent and bring it before the world to get the long overdue recognition for it. The loving woman in her is not willing to break the household of her love or snatch him from his wife. Her passion is only to boost his morale and support him practically in climbing the success ladder. However, being a widow, she is concerned about the rumours regarding their relationship, maligning her and tarnishing her image in the eyes of the society.All the three lead actors have done absolute justice to their roles. Late Smita Patil has been one of the greatest actresses of all times and she scores again in this author-backed role. Raj Babbar had his own fan-following in the eighties, courtesy his rapist act in Insaaf Ka Tarazu (1980) and his positive roles in movies like Prem Geet (1981) and Mazdoor (1983). He has done his job well and his chemistry with his real life love, Smita Patil, is simply excellent. Anita Raj has got a low profile role but this highly talented as well as highly charming actress of the eighties, is able to leave a mark yet. Her underplay in the climax when she gives Pooja Ke Phool (flowers used in the worship of God) to Smita Patil, speaks of her talent. The supporting cast doesn’t have much to do.The complete set-up of the movie gives glimpses of the long Rajshri tradition. However it is not a movie of that banner. Yet the simplicity, the naturalness and the emotional narrative is no way inferior to many of the excellent Rajshri movies. The movie maintains an undercurrent of emotions throughout. It’s not tear-jerking, yet moves you naturally. The ending scene in which Smita Patil who had ceased to apply vermilion in her hair (which is symbolic of the marital status of a Hindu woman), faces her bed-ridden husband with her hair-parting filled with vermilion again, is very touching and an example of directorial excellence because a lot is said between them without a single dialogue and ending the movie then and there shows the narrator’s better sense. The movie has been spared with unnecessary scenes and there is no unnecessary dragging of the storyline at any spot. The editor has used his scissors so lavishly that the narrative carries the viewer towards the desired end so fast as if to give him a feeling of being flown away by a swift water-stream. Emotional movies are usually slow but courtesy the over-enthusiasm of the editor, the narrative of this movie is crisp and brisk. The cameraman-art director duo has portrayed the simplicity of the village life as well as the middle class areas of Mumbai very well. The dialogues in the movie are also praiseworthy.By listening to the songs of this movie only, I realized that for being an excellent piece of music, a song need not be a chartbuster. The songs of this movie are not chartbusters and they can be categorized as the forgotten songs now, yet lyric wise as well as melody wise, they are just very good. Late Anjaan and his son, Sameer have penned highly meaningful lyrics (quite situational according to the narrative) containing very good words. Late Shyam Sagar and Uttam-Jagdish have composed the music which is melodious and according to the mood of the movie. Shabbir Kumar and Anuradha Paudwal have beautifully sung the songs. Just listen to the songs like Jheel Rakhoon, Hum Kitne Khushnaseeb Hain, Koi Naam and Diya To Jale from this movie, silently and peacefully and you will realize their quality and strength.All in all, Teesra Kinara (third shore) is an emotionally appealing movie which will be liked by not only all the fans of Raj Babbar and late Smita Patil but also the people liking sentimental movies based on triangular relationships. The moral of this story is – Be expressive in your relationships (especially marital) and don’t allow any communication gap to creep in. Communication gap is the biggest enemy of all relationships, it is my clear and unbiased opinion.A simple but excellent emotional drama.
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