Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sadhna - The romantic actress of Bollywood

Sadhna’s contribution to Indian films:

Amongst the established actresses of the 50s and 60s, Sadhna graced the silver screen with her remote style of soft performance and made a significant impact in the golden era of Indian films. Sadhna made her debue in the film Love in Shimla, in 1959, opposite Joy Mukherjee. She made a haircut and created a distinct identity and the new generation started following her style with Sadhna cut. She amazed the film lovers with her serene performance in Raj Khosla’s Ek Musafir Ek Haseena, 1962, opposite Joy Mukherjee. It was a black and white classic but scenes were shot at picturesque locations in Jammu and Kashmir. OP Nayyar made as many musical experiments in the film as possible.

Sadhna made the musical sequences of the song “aap yu hi agar humse milte rahe” sung by Asha and Rafi immortal, by making postures in a manner by which a peacock welcomes the monsoon. The other songs in the film titled “bahut shukriya, bari meherbani” sung by Asha and Rafi, also impressed the filmlovers. After acting in Asli Nakli, opposite Dev Anand and Dulha Dulhan opposite Raj Kapoor, Sadhna addressed the purdanashin community of Aligarh, Lucknow and the middle-east countries with her dynamic performance in the film Mere Mehboob, opposite Rajender Kumar in 1963. Her combination with Rajender Kumar was well appreciated in the film Aarzoo in 1965. Sadhna gave tremendous lips for Lata’s extraordinary songs like “mere mehboob tujhe meri mohabbat ki kasam”, “aji ruth kar ab kaha jaiyega”, “bedardi balma”, etc.

While performing in romantic films Sadhna also excelled in ghostly characters in suspense thrillers like Woh Kaun Thi, 1964, opposite Manoj Kumar, Mera Saya, opposite Sunil Dutt, Anita, etc. Woh Kaun thi was probably the most successful horror film made in that age. Manoj Kumar played the role of a doctor who was horrified by presenting the sister of his wife who was a twin. Sadhna played in double role and till the end of the film every person started believing that Sadhna was a ghost. The villain in the film Prem Chopra was told by the lawyer in the family that the property of Manoj Kumar will revert back to him if it can be proved that he is insane.

So throughout the entire film Sadhna was presented at every place, sometimes near graveyard, sometimes in some other fields and Manoj Kumar started disbelieving his wife who knew nothing about her twin sister. After the doctor advised Manoj Kumar to go to Shimla for change of mind he found Sadhna there also and ultimately the death of twin sister led to disclosure of the truth. Madan Mohan’s outstanding compositions sung by Lata were picturised on Sadhna including “naina barse”, “lagja gale”, etc. In Mera Saya also Sadhna displayed the fearful entity and the superlative composition of Madan Mohan including “tu jaha jaha chalega” etc. added glamour in the coloured blockbuster.

Sadhna also performed in other films like Raj Kumar opposite Shammi Kapoor in 1965, Hum Dono, etc. In the late 60s Sadhna suffered from infirmity which changed her face and lost her romantic look, although her strong performance compelled producers to launch her in films like Isq Par Zor Nahi opposite Dharmender, Aap Aye Bahar Aye opposite Rajender Kumar, Inteqam, etc.

Sadhna’s films should be restored and preserved to bring back the memories of horror films which entertained and horrified film lovers during the golden age.


A S MURTY said...

Good article on Saadhna who was never considered by many in the same league as Meena Kumari, Waheeda Rahman or Nutan or Nargis. But her powerful performances in many of the movies named in the article are testimony to her acting capabilities. The "Sadhna Cut" was a very popular cult thing in the 60s. One movie which did not find a mention in your article - EK PHOOL DO MAALI - was again a feather in her cap.

Souvik-indrajalik said...

The powerful actresses during the 50s and 60s were involved with the Big Banners, for example Nargis worked with RK Banner, Wahida Rehman acted in Guru Dutt's films, Nutan in Bimal Roy's films, Sadhna earned her respectability by performing under different directors including Rishikesh Mukherjee, Raj Khosla, BR Chopra, etc.
Souvik Chatterji.

Unknown said...

Good site Souvik. One thing about Sadhana that's commonly missed out is her amazingly nuanced acting prowess displayed in her earliest films (pre Mere Mehboob). Her perfomances in Asli Naqli, Parakh & Hum Dono showcase a very spontaneous & expressive actress who was also the amazingly beautiful angel next door. This is of course before her Style Icon phase took over.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the wonderful article about this gifted actress. I was born in 1962 in Fiji and named after her. I have always felt that the name was special for me, and now I know why. Unlike the spoiled stars of today who are kids of this actor or that director, she earned her way and was an original.

Anonymous said...

Sadhna was really beautiful girl.
her performances in "Aarzoo,Waqt,Mera Saya,Asli Naqli, etc....... are superb.
she was very good actoress.

Souvik-indrajalik said...

Even when Sadhna got disfigured in the early 70s her performance in the films Ek Phool Do Mali, Ishq Par Zor Nahi, Aap Aye Bahar Aye were well appreciated. She suited to both the docile characters created by Bimal Roy in Parakh and also the stylish characters created by BR Chopra in Waqt.
Souvik Chatterji.

rajendra51 said...

I like to know where is Sadhna these days. no news about her.she was the audrey hepburn of the indian screen. sweet and soft she starred in many top movies which were famous for the songs.
my best- aslinaqli,woh kaun thi, mera saya.

Anonymous said...

I love her .
She was lukng maaaiind blowwng in mere mehboob.why
She hadn't taken birth in our generation...
Misng u husna . wil cm to mumbai n meet u soon...

Saood akhtar.(lucknow)