Sargam (1979)

nullSargam produced by N. N. Sippy and Directed is K Vishwanath is a remake of his earlier Telugu hit Siri Siri Muvva (1976), which starred Jayaprada and made her a star in South India.She made her Hindi film debut with this film, repeating her role of a mute dancer.Laxmikant Pyarelal composed the memorable songs, which won the only Filmfare Award for the film.Mohd. Rafi sang all seven songs, three of them were duets with Lata Mangeshkar, including the famous song, “Dafliwale.”The film became a Super Hit and took the third top spot at the box office in 1979.

Cast: Rishi Kapoor, Jayapradha, Shashikala

Born with a disability of not being able to talk nor hear, Hema lives with her schoolmaster dad, Chintamani, a stepmother and stepsister. Hema is ill-treated by her stepmother, who is now attempting to sell Hema in the guise of getting her married to a much older man, forcing Hema to run away.Raju, a musician, comes to her aid out of compassion, and assists her achieve her goal, to be a dancer.In the process, Hema is attracted to Raju, but is unsure whether he will accept her as she is.

The plot is pure hokum schmokum.Almost everything is thrown into the plot- evil stepmothers, illnesses, deaths, poverty, unrequited love etc.This is Jaya Pradha’s Bollywood debut and she does not utter a single word.Just as well because her Hindi accent probably would have been a bit rough at this early stage in her career (she is originally from the South).

In the 1970’s and 80’s, the Hindi film industry often made films where a disabled character would by some form of miracle be cured by the end of the plot (Amar Akbar Anthony and a more recent example being Koyla). But it’s nice to see that Jaya’s character remains mute in the happy ending.It enhances the director’s message that she is not really disabled, after all, she is capable of expressing herself.A very ordinary film this but made watchable by the melodious music and the lead pair (Jaya and Rishi Kapoor).

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