We rarely make desi movies these days. Palatial mansions, swanky cars, designer outfits, the latest handsets and gizmos have replaced large kothis, traditional outfits, ghoda-gaadis and makke di roti aur sarson ka saag. True to its name, Sadiyaan takes you to a different era, when the warmth of relations mattered the most, when blood was thicker than water, when promises were meant to be honoured.
Sadiyaan is set in the 1970s, but travels to the partition days. Raj Kanwar tackles a unique theme this time - of two mothers. The first is the biological mother, who gets separated from her child during the partition. The second raises the child like her own, when she crosses to India after partition. The basic premise is wonderful and you can draw parallels with Hindu mythology.
Sadiyaan is divided into two parts. The first part focuses on the love story, which falls on the predictable, mundane stuff, with the Hindu-Muslim angle thrown in. But Raj Kanwar reserves the best for the second part, when the two women meet and the story takes rapid turns. But, let's face it, Sadiyaan is not everyone's idea of entertainment, since the 'multiplex junta' doesn't patronise desi cinema anymore, unlike the single screen audience that adores this kind of cinema.
So what's the final verdict? Watch it if you like desi melodrama of yore, which comes alive with Sadiyaan.
Sadiyaan is a period drama based on an incident which happened during the partition. It's the story of two mothers, a Hindu played by Rekha and a Muslim mother played by Hema Malini.
In the chaos and confusion during partition in 1947, Benazir [Hema Malini] leaves behind her child in the mansion she lived in, before moving to Lahore. The child is rescued by Amrit [Rekha] and Rajveer [Rishi Kapoor], who try hard to locate the parents of the child, but in vain. They decide to raise the child themselves.
Ishaan [Luv Sinha] falls in love with Chandni [Ferena Wazeir], who lives in the same city [Amritsar]. However, Chandni's parents oppose the match, since Ishaan is a Hindu. Amrit and Rajveer decide to reveal the truth to Ishaan and also to Chandni's parents.
Two commonalities in Raj Kanwar movies… One, he has always stressed on drama in his movies and Sadiyaan is no exception. Two, the maker has often worked with newcomers [SRK in Deewana, Aarya Babbar and Amrita Rao in Ab Ke Baras and Lara Dutta and Priyanka Chopra in Andaaz] and now, it's Shatrughan Sinha's son Luv Sinha in Sadiyaan.
Sadiyaan has two stories running concurrently - the love story [Luv, Ferena] and the story of two mothers [Rekha, Hema Malini]. While the love story is hardly exciting since it relies on the tried-and-tested stuff, the Indo-Pak angle in the mothers' story makes this part extremely watchable.
The best moments are reserved for the second hour, with the penultimate moments proving the mainstay of the enterprise. However, as mentioned earlier, desi themes aren't too popular these days, except in the hinterland. Hence, a film like Sadiyaan has its limitations to cut across to a universal audience. Another drawback is that a love story should be embellished with lilting music and unfortunately, Adnan Sami's music is a letdown.
Directorially, Raj Kanwar handles the dramatic moments with flourish, but the writing, especially the love story, is archaic. Also, what was the need to force comedy in the narrative? Cinematography is alright, but the locations are eye-filling.
Rishi Kapoor, Rekha and Hema Malini are the lifeline of the film. Rishi is top notch. Rekha is amazing, while Hema is perfect. In fact, it's a treat to watch the two actresses share screen space after a really long gap. Luv Sinha needs to polish his acting skills. He's slightly awkward in the first part, but decent in the second half, when the goings-on get emotional. Ferena is a decent actor, but needs to work on her makeup and wardrobe.
Javed Sheikh is appropriate. Deep Dhillon is good. Vivek Shauq is getting typecast. Avtar Gill is perfect.
On the whole, Sadiyaan is an emotional drama narrated in old-fashioned style. If old world charm still excites you, there are chances you may like this one.