24 September 2011 | Peter_Young
Nutan saves the day
Saawan Kumar's Saajan Ki Saheli is a senseless, typical and simplistic melodrama. The story of one woman refusing to accept her premarital daughter upon birth is done to death, and while it could have been watchable in the hands of a more capable director, Kumar's direction is poor and it looks like he is hardly interested in the project, doing it all slack. While the beginning is badly done, the narrative grows even more obtuse as the film progresses. The dialogues are overdone and the proceedings often don't make sense. Towards the end in particular, there's a silly plan plotted by the characters in the film in order to bring the mother and daughter together, and it is really embarrassing. That said, I didn't expect anything great and watched the film only for Nutan and Rekha. In this regard, it was worth it.
Nutan is fantastic in her role, and as the selfish, fiery and greedy woman who has given her daughter away without blinking an eye and who is now a jealous and possessive wife, she does the best of what she is given and rises above the script. She looks absolutely great and much younger than she actually was. More importantly, she is consistently in-character and plays the part with utmost conviction, never letting the helpless writing affect her. Her sharp expressions and line delivery are as impressive as ever. I also appreciate the fact that she didn't shy away from taking on a negative part. She was always keen on playing good roles, and even though I didn't expect much from the film, I was sure she would do well, and she did not disappoint. Needless to say, this is her film all the way.
Rekha, as her illegitimate daughter, also does very well although at points she is let down by the script. This was the time when she became an altogether different person in terms of appearance and personality. She is graceful, beautiful and attractive. Rajendra Kumar and Vinod Mehra don't have much to do but both come across as likable fellows. Usha Khanna's soundtrack is so-so, but I liked the song "Jiske Liye Sab Ko Choda". The film's ending is predictably positive and sugarcoated. Saajan Ki Saheli is overall an unworthy film. It does have its good moments from time to time, but they are too few to make a difference. It may be worth a one-time watch, if anything, but that too for the performances of Rekha and particularly Nutan, and strictly for lovers of this particular kind of Hindi movies.