Producer: Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd.
*ing: Arvind Swamy, Juhi Chawla, Anupam Kher, Farida Jalal, Mink, Tinnu Anand, Satish Shah and Special Appearance by Aruna Irani
Music: Nadeem Shravan
Released on : February 20, 1998
Reviewed by: Mohammad Ali Ikram
Directors may deliver hit after hit after hit, but very few people can follow-up one brilliant movie with another that is equally unforgettable. In 1997, Priyadarshan brought us Virasat, a movie destined to rank among my all-time favourites. Sadly, Priyan's first Hindi movie after Virasat, though enjoyable, lacks the consistent pace and endearing plot of the earlier flick. True to its title, Saat Rang Ke Sapne, is replete with grand, vibrant and colourful visuals but in the non-technical departments, the film is just modestly above average.
The movie had much potential in one of its three interesting and intertwined plots. First, there is the tale of Mahipal's (Arvind Swamy) love and devotion to the family he has worked for all his life. Second, there is a conflict between master Bhanu (Anupam Kher) and servant over the same woman (Juhi Chawla). And third, there is the plot of Yashoda (Farida Jalal), a rich heiress tricked into marrying a mentally retarded man who eventually kills himself and their child. The widow's family-in-law hordes all her money and throws her out on the street, but her younger brother (Anupam) vows to take revenge. I found the third plot most intriguing, but Priyadarshan chose to concentrate on the first and third themes more, relegating the second story to subplot status. It's the over-familiarity of the audience with the two main themes which makes the film dry in parts. Pre-interval, the director uses a very slow, yet somewhat realistic, pace to establish the love triangle. To keep you entertained all the while, Satish Shah's "tashki" (taxi) and sleep-talking scenes have been added. Post-interval, the speed quickens when the master plots and connives to win the heart of the Jalimaa. (After Daud, this is the first Hindi movie with novel character names.)
Luckily, as in other good Priyadarshan movies (such as Gardish and Muskurahat), relationships are also important in Saat Rang Ke Sapne. Mahi shares a 'son-mother' relationship with Yashoda and his ties with Bhanu mirror sibling rivalry at its worst. It is because of these realistic relationships that Anupam, Arvind and Farida deliver wonderful performances in the film. Juhi Chawla looks beautiful as always, but there is no scene in the movie requiring a display of her mastery over the acting craft. (Though in no way related to the film's quality, to my dismay, the heroine vanishes for long time periods in the movie's second-half.) I should also remember to add that Mink, the European-born Dev Anand discovery first seen in his trashy Pyaar Ka Taraana, delivers a remarkably believable performance as love-besotted, village belle Bhanvri.
The song and dance sequences, though not in the league of Virasat, are a treat to watch. Mind you, the visuals do carry a hangover from previous Priyadarshan (and Mani Rathnam) films. Cinematography, as earlier mentioned, is colourful and absolutely breath-taking; it would serve well to increase tourism in India's desert-filled regions.
Walking into Saat Rang Ke Sapne, one should not expect Priyadarshan to surpass the perfection of Virasat. It is like expecting Yash Chopra to better Lamhe: chances are slim for such an occurrence. In its own right, Saat Rang Ke Sapne is a nice, pleasant movie, with good performances and numerous memorable scenes.
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