||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (February 2010)|
|Directed by||Hrishikesh Mukherjee|
|Produced by||Sher Jeng Singh Punchee|
|Written by||Bimal Dutta (Screenplay)
Rajinder Singh Bedi (Dialogue)
Narayan Sanyal (Story)
|Music by||Laxmikant Pyarelal|
|Editing by||Das Dhaimade|
|Distributed by||175 minutes|
Satyakam is a 1969 Indian Hindi film directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, based on a Bengali novel of the same name by Narayan Sanyal. The film stars Dharmendra, Sharmila Tagore, Sanjeev Kumar, and Ashok Kumar. The music for this film is given by Laxmikant Pyarelal.
After the success of Anupama (1966), Hrishikesh Mukherjee got together the same team of actors: Dharmendra, Sharmila Tagore, David (actor); dialogue writer: Rajinder Singh Bedi; lyricist: Kafi Azmi and cameraman: Jaywant Pathare.
This is considered to be Dharmendra's finest acting performance of his career. In addition its director Hrishikesh Mukherjee names this film as his favourite film. This speaks volumes of the film considering that the renowned director has made several memorable movies like Anand, Bawarchi, Abhimaan, Chupke Chupke and Khoobsurat.
Plot summary 
The story begins in the year 1946, just a year before India’s independence. Optimism, euphoria, goodwill and a genuine anticipation of positive change are filling the emergent nation’s mind and soul. Some, including Satyapriya (Dharmendra), are more enthusiastic, and for them India’s forthcoming independence is not a run of the mill event: it is a watershed, an epistemological rupture, a paradigm shift. It would be a triumph of sympathetic-rationalism that will sway India’s populace – from rags to riches. His conviction is guided by his grandfather's world views, whose thought-pattern has reached its non-realistic pinnacle due to the constant and isolationist pursuit of truth – informed by prevailing rigid customs and rituals – in a Gurukul. Armed with an engineering degree, Satyapriya ventures out to build HIS new India. On the way, he mostly encounters characters who hold diametrically opposite ideals and life styles. During his first assignment he meets Ranjana (Sharmila Tagore) who is about to be sexually exploited by a debauched Prince, the employer of Satyapriya. Despite the obvious awareness that Ranjana loves him, Satyapriya hesitates in rescuing her, letting her become prey of the morally corrupt Prince. The incident shakes the moral foundation of Satyapriya who has betrayed his conscience, feelings and ethical demeanor. To redress the mounting guilt he marries Ranjana, but their lives are never same again.
Later Satyapriya takes up a number of jobs, but due to his convictions he can not settle at one place. A chain of intra/inter struggles goes on within/between Satyapriya and Ranjana. Ranjana tries to lead a normal life and longs to forget her past. Satyapriya is constantly reminded of his mistake (dishonesty of feelings) and tries to rectify it through his unflinching uncompromising stance; rather he appears to derive energy from his guilt. In his post-mistake life, he ruthlessly follows a rationalist obsession to eliminate the difference between a fallible human being and infallible God, which drives him more and more into egocentric dispositions at the expense of everybody around him, including Satyapriya himself (as a person).
In the later part of the film, it appears more and more that it is not the truth-pursuit that has taken Satyapriya as hostage but vice versa. He becomes the protagonist of absolutist entrapment of truth. All types of relativism are mercilessly excluded; no thought is given to the service of truth for long term goals. In the end, Satyapriya, as often happens in such conditions, breaks down. He sacrifices himself for the contradictory ideals of his grandfather, who believes in worldly rituals and inequalities supported by mortal scriptures to achieve cosmological goals. Unfortunately, only his death exposes the dogmatic and paradoxical conceptual foundations of his grandfather's ideals.
This plot was based on a Bengali novel of the same title, written by a renowned writer Narayan Sanyal.
This film was made in 1969. By this time, disillusionment with post-independence expectations had begun to take root. Unemployment, continual poverty and rampant corruption were severely undermining institutions all around. In a way, the film underlines a gradual disappearance of the followers of absolutism – whether in terms of truth, non-realist convictions or practices of all kinds of discriminations.
- Dharmendra as Satyapriya 'Sath' Acharya
- Ashok Kumar as Satyasharan 'Dadji' Acharya
- Sharmila Tagore as Ranjana
- Sanjeev Kumar as Narendra 'Naren' Sharma
- David as Rustom
- Sarika as Kabul S. Archarya (credited as Baby Sarika)
- Tarun Bose as Mr. Ladkar
- Asrani as Peter
- Dina Pathak as Harbhajan's mother
- Manmohan as Kunver Vikram Singh
Music - Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Lyrics - Kaifi Azmi
- Abhi kya sunoge - Lata Mangeshkar
- Do din ki zindagi - Lata Mangeshkar
- Zindagi hai kya bolo - Kishore Kumar, Mukesh, Mahendra Kapoor
- Gulzar; Govind Nihalani, Saibal Chatterjee (2003). Encyclopaedia of Hindi cinema. Popular Prakashan. p. 337. ISBN 81-7991-066-0.
- Dharmendra's career best role
- "Directorate of Film Festival". Iffi.nic.in. Retrieved 2012-07-23.
- Satyakam at the Internet Movie Database
- Film summary from "Hrishikesh Mukherjee's best films" rediff.com, 28 August 2006. Retrieved 2 October 2009.
- Dharmendra's career best role