Friday, July 9, 2010

Situm Smita PatilSmita Patil


Produced By Vikram
Directed By Aruna Raje – Vikas Desai
Music By Jagjit Singh
Naseeruddin Shah Smita Patil
Vikram Sulbha Deshpande
Keith Stevenson  

Click HERE for a complete listing of Cast & Crew.


Situm is the story of how two people cope with a sudden death. Subhash (Naseeruddin Shah) is a footballer who gets hit in the head and dies while playing a football match. His wife Meenakshi (Smita Patil) holds Inder (Vikram), the player who kicked the ball, directly responsible for Subhash’s untimely death and accuses Inder publically. Inder can not handle the guilt and becomes a mental wreck.

Inder’s boss, Mr. Bakshi (Keith Stevenson) plays a pivotal role in convincing Meenakshi to forgive Inder and talk him out of his depression to get him on his feet again. Inder and Meenakshi in due course fall for each other by the end of the movie.


I bought the VCD of the movie purely on the star cast and I am not totally disappointed. The movie could have taken on a different platform altogether had it been a little more slick and ‘to the point’. Perhaps back in the 80s, it was forbidden for the women to be left single at the end of a movie and hence the director-writer duo forced a romance to be developed between the survivors. The movie for a large portion rides on an able performance by Smita Patil. However, she is limited by the screen play and her assignment on the movie and just about as you feel that a performance or a scene is about to take off to another level, it falls flat again.

Naseeruddin Shah Naseeruddin Shah easily essays the character of a fun loving, full of life, jovial and fair sportsman (typical character sketch of someone who is supposed to die half way in any Hindi movie). At times, you tend to feel that he is straining himself or acting out of his mould and overdoing things a bit, but such is his acting prowess that even in sequences where he makes a fool out of himself, he tends to convince you otherwise.

VikramVikram’s previous claim to fame was his role in movie ‘Julie’. He perhaps wanted to reinvent himself with this particular attempt and went onto produce this film, maybe with a view to make a mark for himself as an actor all over again. His character actually appears a little over the top and a little hard to believe. Overall, he still does well and is not totally lost in the scheme of things.

This is not exactly Smita Patil’s best work. The film in a way rides on her performance but overall, I really feel that she could have been handled better.  However she shines in her portrayal of a widow and beautifully brings out the anguish of her character in a scene where she is talking to Sulbha Deshpande while ironing a shirt.

Watch the clip if you can appreciate the subtle variations in the scene.

Keith Stevenson Sulbha Deshpande on the other hand acts in her comfort zone and does well in her limited screen space. Keith Stevenson is better known for his role as the villain in Amitabh starrer ‘Akela’ and the Sheikh in the TV series ‘Zabaan Sambhaal Ke’. Though his role kind of moves the film along, his performance is just about average.


Music by Jagjit Singh and lyrics by Gulzar. Sadly, the icons fail to live up to their  reputation. The music score is flat and the lyrics just about average. I would like to forget that they worked together on this project (I am sure they would agree as well). I ultimately forwarded the songs ahead while watching the movie. Absolutely nothing to write home about.


Smita Patil SitumThis movie had the right ingredients (Naseer, Smita Patil, Gulzar, Jagjit Singh) but I guess an average recipe. The result – individual flavors stand out in the dish. There are capable situations and potent sequences in the film that had the potential to move and entice the audience but the fuel burns out before the moment arrives. The film had a few clear blunders and I guess the director-writer duo need to take the responsibility for the film to lose grip just at the right moments. For example, there is this elaborate sequence where Naseeruddin Shah is being taken for his last rites again something which could have been trimmed a bit) and the director chose to have the song ‘Akele akele kahan jaa rahe ho’ to be played in the background. In defense of this I guess you would be tempted to add that the character of Subhash is shown to be an avid Shammi Kapoor fan and he does imitate him on more than one occasion but the song added on the situation not only made an otherwise very serious scene look funny, it also showcased a lack of judgment of the audience’s sensibilities by the directors.

Watch the  clip below if you don’t believe this.

Overall, I guess the movie is a clear 2.5 out of 5. Watch it for Smita Patil’s performance though.