The word “Love” itself is so nuanced, lyrical and lively that it casts the same effect upon those who don the cloak of love. Literature, drama, reality is so full of the romance that it has become one of the most bankable genres for Bollywood and cinema, at large. However, during the 80s, although there were romantic films being made, yet no one had dared to trudge the terrain of unrequited love sagas. K. Balachander who wished to remake his superhit South film Marocharithra in Hindi was warned against it. However, Ek Duuje Ke Liye, the film starring Kamal Haasan and Rati Agnihotri became a Blockbuster hit. The success didn’t cease there, alongside number of awards, the film was a recipient of National Award as well.
The tale that subtly highlights the rigid caste system is a story of Vaasu and Sapna. Vaasu is a South Indian lad who falls for a North Indian chick, Sapna. The union is met with objection from Vaasu and Sapna’s family members. Vaasu and Sapna love each other but are bound by family obligations. And although they agree for the imposition put by their parents of not being together for a year yet the longing remains. Their ordeal is met with a fated climax while their love enlivens. However, the impact this tragedy leaves behind gets etched in our minds forever.
The fated climax we talk about brings the film closer to the literary magnum opus, Romeo-Juliet and renders it an immortal exquisiteness. But if the grapevine is to be believed, Balachander was advised to change the climax. We are only thankful to the visionary director for sticking to his decision.
Ek Duuje Ke Liye is one masterpiece which is packaged with stunning sequences, mind-blowing dialogues, uber realistic performances, heartwarming music and most importantly, beautiful storyline. While Kamal Haasan, who had worked in the original film as well, retains his passion for love, art and music in this film, Rati Agnihotri is simply natural with the character of Sapna. The innocence of the lovers ably reflects in Rati and Kamal’s expressive acting. The intangible chemistry of the leads lends the film pragmatic touch. Shobha Khote on the other hand is the wicked vamp who wouldn’t let the love win over hatred.
There may be one too many technical glitches in the film yet the cinematography and some eye-catching sequences make the film one classic with a repeat value. The stunning dance sequence by Kamal Haasan is one thing out of the many that psychologically gets associated with the film. And speaking of the music of the film, in an era where subtlety is lost and insignificant lyrics override melody, this film boasts of some meaningful lyrics and hauntingly beautiful songs. Anand Bakshi and Laxmikant-Pyarelal helm the musical show for this film.
Overall the film may be clichéd yet it evokes an undying love for romance in each of us and our heart reaches out to all the fateful lovers who have lost themselves and their love to the rigidity and inane norms of the society. For the magnum opus that it is, we give it a perfect 5!