Raj Kapoor's Satyam Shivam Sundaram
(1978) is the story of Rupa (Zeenat Aman), the village outcast who--despite her melodious voice and pious character--is considered unlucky due to the death of the mother at her birth. Scarred by this tremendous guilt she plods through a loveless childhood that is worsened by an ill-fated accident that leaves her face burnt from one side. Enter Rajeev (Shashi Kapoor) a rich and good-looking engineer who, crazed by all things beautiful, falls in love with her voice and marries her without looking at her face. But unable to bear Rupa when the truth comes out, he walks out on her forgetting about her incredible personality and leaving her alone to face dishonour.
Going where no other Indian film has before, Satyam Shivam Sundaram follows Rajeev on his path to learning the importance of inner beauty and goodness over outward appearances. Casting the voluptuous Zeenat Aman--the woman who set many hearts afire--as the disfigured Rupa adds emphasis to the point that beauty is not constant and definitely not what counts.
On the DVD: Sataym Shivam Sundaram on disc is presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital Sound with a picture remastered from the original film. The interview with Randhir Kapoor--son of director Raj Kapoor--by Dharmesh Darshan is an added bonus. --Anika Puri
The movie is set in a village where Roopa (Zeenat Aman), lives with her father. As a young child, Roopa's right cheek was burned by a pot of oil, leaving part of her face disfigured. Henceforth, Roopa keeps her right cheek hidden under the cover of her Sari. Despite the terrible accident, Roopa remains religious and goes to the village Hindu temple daily, singing hymns and devotional songs.The protagonist Rajeev (Shashi Kapoor), is an engineer who arrives in the village to oversee the construction of a major dam. He suffers from a fear of ugliness. He sees Roopa at night and, failing to see her disfigured side, falls in love with her, asking her father permission to marry her.After the wedding, he discovers the truth, and thinks that he was cheated and was forced to marry someone else, at which point he disowns Roopa and drives her out of the house. Roopa decides to meet him at night, using a veil to hide the charred side of her face. Rajeev spends his days hating his wife, and his nights loving his mistress, not knowing they are both the same woman - Roopa. During one of their nights together, they make love and Roopa gets pregnant. When Rajeev finds out that his wife is pregnant, he suspects her of infidelity and still refuses to believe this his "mistress" and wife are one and the same. In the movie's climax, a terrible storm ravages the village. In the swirling waters of the flood, Rajeev realises how shallow he had been, and saves Roopa from drowning.