Monday, 29 September 2008

Bargain Bin Beauties IV: Satta Bazaar (1959)

Satta Bazaar is a rather interesting movie, as it focuses less on the trials and tribulations of young star-crossed lovers, and more on the trials and tribulations of a married couple when the husband falls prey to the lure of share-trading and gambling.

It starts by introducing us to a moderately happy family consisting of the parents, Jamuna and Ramesh, one grown up daughter, Kala, and one younger son, as well as a random relative, Jagat, played by Johnny Walker, and of course Tiger, his dog. The only blot on the families happiness is that the daughter, Kala (Vijaya Choudhury), doesn't get on with her mother, Jamuna (Meena Kumari), as she is actually her step-mother and she was told by a servant that all step-mothers are evil. Jamuna, however, works very hard to prove this prejudice wrong.

Kala is in love with Shyam (Suresh), who works in her father's factory and is the son of a good friend and colleague of her father. Nevertheless, she is worried about talking to their parents about a possible marriage as they are from different castes and areas. Shyam's answer to this can be seen below.

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Jamuna finds out about her step-daughter's involvement with Shyam but instead of being morally outraged she persuades her husband, Ramesh (Balraj Sahni) to allow the two youngsters to marry. As Shyam's father is also happy with the match, all seems to be well and we get an engagement party which features a song with Johnny walker as a fake tiger.

Jamuna being sneaky:
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And working on convincing her husband:
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However, the silly son, Pritam, of a very rich businessman, Badriprasad (Ramayan Tiwari) has also fallen in love with Kala. Badriprasad enlists the help of a corrupt priest, whom Ramesh trusts for some inexplicable reason, to get Ramesh to trade in shares in a cunning ploy to get him to break off Kala's engagement with Shyam. Nobody in the family likes or trusts the Pundit, not even Tiger, but Ramesh is not to be shaken.

These people are not good news:
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Why would you trust him (apart from: it's in the script):
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See, Tiger doesn't like them either:
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Jamuna is very upset when Ramesh comes home with a substantial amount of money he earned at the share market; especially since he missed a Pooja in order to do some more trading. She is even less impressed when he starts sleeping badly and she makes him swear on her son's head that he will never go to the share market again. What could possibly go wrong with this?

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Isn't it usually love which robs people of their sleep?
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This is really not a good idea:
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Meanwhile, to set up the scene for future akwardness, Pritam, Badriprasad's son, had an accident while trying to take a picture and ended up in the sea wherefrom he is promptly rescued by Shyam. Pritam himself has no idea what his father is up to, and is genuinely fond of Kala.

The sign of akwardness to come:
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The family settles back into a happy routine, until one day Ramesh meets Badriprasad at the air-port by chance and gets dragged back to the share market; this time he even starts going to watch dancing girls and drinking alcohol. He ends up loosing a lot of money, and Badriprasad promises to pay his debts under the completely surprising conditions that Kala gets married to his son Pritam. In oder to make sure that she doesn't get a chance to elope he has had Shyam already kidnapped by his trusty associate. Tiger tries to help but the humans are to stupid to look under the carpet which hides the trap-door. Oh well.

Oh, no:
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How could you:
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Despair:
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Stupid humans:
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At least one person is happy about the wedding:

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Kala has some trouble settling into married life, so her father in law suggests that Pritam should take her to their guesthouse for some quality time. I am not sure why he thinks that is a good idea since the guesthouse is located rather close to the place where Shyam is still held, but there you go.

Jagat is still suspicious about the place where they couldn't locate Shyam the first time round, so he goes back with his girl-friend and Tiger. After a rousing song performed to distract the people guarding Shyam and with the help of Tiger's sharp teeth, Shyam manages to escape but he is hurt during the fight.

Let me tell you, at this point, I really needed some light relief:
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And guess what? Who should come across Shyam and take him home, but Pritam who is overjoyed to get a chance to pay back the favour Shaym did him when he pulled him out of the ocean. This is of course rather akward for Kala, especially since Pritam doesn't know about her engagement to Shyam; but it gives Kala and Shyam a chance to sing melancholy songs at each other.

Oh dear:
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Hmm, this might not be the best idea ever, Pritam:
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Meanwhile, back in the city, Ramesh comes to know that Bradiprasad has not in fact payed his debts for him, as he had promised, and Jamuna and her sick son get thrown out of their house. When he finds them, his son is seriously ill and urgently requires some milk for his medicines. Jamuna sends Ramesh to buy the milk but he meets the Pundit on the way, who has fallen on hard times, too, and is enticed into gambling away his last money; while his son dies in his mother's arms.

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Don't listen to him Ramesh. Haven't you learned anything?
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Meanwhile Badriprasad has learned that Shyam is staying with is son in the guesthouse, and he sets out to get rid of Shyam once and for all with the help of a poisoned cup of coffee. Alas, the coffee is drunk by Pritam, who promptly expires.

Harumpf, he really didn't deserve that:
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Shyam on the other hand is found by his father just in time as he prepares to jump of a cliff, and taken back to the city where he soon finds himself accused of Pritam's murder. When Ramesh hears that his daughter is now widowed he collapses and becomes paralysed and unable to speak.

Last minute rescue:
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Poor Jamuna:
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Will Shyam be able to prove his innocence? Will Badriprasad ever be found out? What will happen to Kala and Shyam, now that Pritam is no longer? Will Ramesh ever recover? Will Jagat's girlfriend ever agree to marry him?

It is not a bad movie; rather heavy on the melodrama, and Shyam, or rather Suresh didn't really impress me that much, but I liked all the other actors and the story was interesting. The only thing that really annoyed me was the fact that two sons have to pay the price for their fathers' misdeeds, Ramesh's son and Pritam, who, while very silly, isn't portrayed as a bad person and doesn't know what his father is up to. I felt rather sorry for the two of them. I am not sure whether my being underwhelmed with Suresh as Shyam is because I felt sorry for Pritam (I don't know the name of the actor, as IMDB is being unhelpful) or whether I would have felt less sorry for Pritam if I had been more blown away by Shyam.

2 comments:

Bollyviewer said...

I managed to sit through a large chunk of this movie because of Balraj Sahni but couldnt make it to the end! Does Kala finally marry her love? Does her father (Balraj Sahni) die? I mostly remember one song from this -Tumhen yaad hoga - which used to play on TV a lot.

antarra said...

Yes, she does marry Shyam at the very end, but the father survives, mainly due to being dragged (quite literaly) from temple to temple by his devoted wife.