indian cinema heritage foundation

Sawan Ki Ghata

31 Jul, 2023 | Archival Reproductions by Cinemaazi
A Lobby Card of "Sawan Ki Ghata" (1966) from Cinemaazi archive.

Everything's Green

"Sawan Ki Ghata
Produced and directed by
Story and Screenplay

Once upon a time, before the credit titles, a car went rolling over the hill and landed almost at the feet of two yokels ("Sawan Ki Ghata"). One of them (Sajjan) adopted the baby in the car (he was the virtuous one) and the other (Jeevan) adopted the jewel box (money was his hobby). They did it all with the utmost nonchalance as if they were used to having cars crash at their feet every day.

The foster father passed the child on to a horse lover who could have passed for an Englishman except that his English was, if anything, worse than his Hindi. Then the foster father grew a beard, lost his mind and went underground, making only an occasional appearance before the camera fill the film agreed on a mercy killing and threw him over a cliff.

The other yokel, meanwhile, became rich, sired Sharmila Tagore and kept hoping the child (the other one) would die, but it didn't. It grew up to be Manoj and came back to plague the man's conscience and woo his daughter.

All this and the other girl (Mumtaz), too, who has designs (honourable) on the hero and Pran who has designs (honourable) on the hero and Pran who has designs (unmentionable) on her. He succeeds, Mumtaz hangs herself. They all hurl abuse at Pran when they should have given him a medal for providing an easy solution to the eternal triangle. After which the girl's father has a change of heart and goes to prison and so the daughter lives happily ever after.

Nobody expects much depth in this sort of thing. But a tauter screenplay would have helped. As for the direction, none of the characters is even plausible. Manoj, Padma and Pran have some good scenes and Sharmila is dinky as a Geisha, but that's about all.

Among the few bits of humour, we liked Pran's retort when Madan Puri suggested a nocturnal excursion. With only two days to his wedding, Pran replied, he'd rather be good. If the art direction wasn't the last word in realism, at least it doesn't offend the eyes, and the colours were subdued.

A film maker's fancy hovering uncertainly between revenge and love.

Rating: *

"Sawan Ki Ghata": The lorry driver looks at the oil gauge and announces that the petrol tank is empty!
   - N Ram Kumar, Hyderabad

In "Sawan Ki Ghata", Manoj tells the inspector that the accident took place 24 years ago and the inspector gives the dates as 1945. That means they were talking in 1969.
   - Gurmit Singh, Kharagpur

This article was published in Filmfare magazine’s October 14, 1966 edition as a part of 'Filmfare Reviews'.

The images appeared in this feature are from the original article.

  • Share