|Directed by||Balu Mahendra|
|Produced by||Raj N. Sippy|
Romu N. Sippy
|Written by||Balu Mahendra (screenplay)|
|Story by||Balu Mahendra|
|Edited by||D. Vasu|
Sadma (Hindi: सदमा; English: Trauma) is a 1983 Indian romantic drama film, written, directed and filmed by Balu Mahendra. It stars Sridevi and Kamal Haasan in the lead roles along with a music composed by Ilaiyaraaja. The film tells the story of Nehalata Malhotra (Sridevi), a young woman who regresses to childhood as result of retrograde amnesia after suffering a head injury in a car crash. Lost, she ends up trapped in a brothel before being rescued by Somu (Kamal Haasan), a lonely school teacher who falls in love with her.
The film was a remake of Mahendra's own 1982 Tamil film Moondram Pirai, which also starred Kamal and Sridevi. Sadma was widely acclaimed by critics for its direction, screenplay, music and performances. Sridevi's performance as an amnesiac woman was widely praised and is considered as one of the finest performances in Indian film history. Although a commercial failure upon release, Sadma over the years has gained a cultural following and cult status and is considered to be one of the finest Indian movies to be ever made.
Nehalata, a young woman, has a car accident while returning from a party and is hospitalised with severe head injuries. When she recovers, she is diagnosed with retrograde amnesia and she fails to recognise her own parents. She mentally regresses to the state of a child. While she is undergoing treatment, she is kidnapped and sold to the madam of a brothel. Somprakash also known as Somu comes to meet his old friend. Together, they visit the brothel to relax. The madam sends Nehalata, renamed Reshami, to his room. Somu realises that she is mentally still a child and pities her. He learns that she was kidnapped by some criminals and forced into prostitution.
Somu returns the next day and takes Nehalata out, supposedly on a pleasure trip. He takes her away to Ooty, where he is working as a school teacher. He takes her to his residence, where he protects her. Reshami, as she is called by Somu, has completely forgotten her past and becomes very close to him. When Reshami accidentally spills ink over Somu's documents, angering him, their relationship is threatened, but they reconcile. Later, a local woodcutter named Balwant lusts for Reshami and nearly assaults her, but she manages to save herself. When she tells Somu about it, he becomes livid with rage and almost kills Balwant, but is stopped by his neighbours who were informed of the incident by Reshami. Meanwhile, the wife of Somu's headmaster is attracted to Somu, though he does not reciprocate her feelings.
Reshami's father who was searching her through the police, releases a newspaper advertisement about his lost daughter. A co-passenger who had travelled with Somu and Reshami to Ooty by train gives them a lead. Somu takes Reshami to a medical practitioner and leaves her there for a day's treatment. In his absence, the police come to his house searching for Reshami. Finally, the police learn that Reshami is getting treated at the doctor's place and reach there. Somu is unable to come as he is afraid of police action. The treatment goes through successfully. Reshami regains her memory and completely forgets about the period between her accident and recovery. Nehalata father and his wife are happy and decide to leave. From the doctor, Nehalata father learns that the person who had brought her there had been taking good care of their daughter; he withdraws his police complaint and they begin their journey home with Reshami.
After the police leave, Somu comes running after the car in which Reshami is travelling. He follows them to the railway station and tries to gain Reshami's attention, but she is unable to recognise him. Somu acts like a dancing monkey that Reshami developed a liking for, but Reshami, unable to comprehend, thinks he is insane and begging for food. Somu continues his futile attempts to gain her attention, and the train eventually leaves with Reshami not recognising him. Somu, who was injured while chasing her car and trying to get her attention, is left alone, heartbroken.
- Sridevi as Nehalata Malhotra "Reshmi"
- Kamal Haasan as Somprakash "Somu"
- Gulshan Grover as Balua
- Silk Smitha as Soni
- Paintal as Paintal
- Arvind Deshpande as J. K. Malhotra
- Viju Khote as Police Inspector David
- Birbal as Shamu
- Leela Mishra as Somu's Neighbor "Nani"
- Ashalata Wabgaonkar as Rajeshwari Malhotra
- Shreeram Lagoo as Dr. Khandeparkar
- Padma Chauhan as Madam
|1.||Aye Zindagi Gale Lagaa Le||Suresh Wadkar||05:30|
|2.||O Babuaa Yeh Mahua||Asha Bhosle||04:22|
|3.||Surmayee Ankhiyon Mein||K. J. Yesudas||04:36|
|4.||Ek Dafa Ek Jungle Tha||Kamal Haasan, Sridevi||07:09|
|5.||Yeh Hawa Yey Fiza||Asha Bhosle, Suresh Wadkar||06:03|
|6.||Surmayee Ankhiyon Mein (Sad)||K. J. Yesudas||01:18|
- 'Sadma' marked Ilaiyaraaja's debut in Bollywood.
- The song 'Yeh Hawa Yeh Fiza' was sampled by GonjaSufi in his album 'Sheep' 
- Music director A. R. Rahman worked as an keyboard player for this film.
- Ilaiyaraaja retained two of his compositions from the original Tamil version.
- The song "Vaanengum Thanga Vinmeengal" was tuned differently for the Hindi version as "Yeh Hawa Yeh Fiza".
- The song "Narikkathai" was replaced with the song "Ek Dafa Ek Jungle Tha" in the Hindi version.
- The cult song "Poongatru Puthithanathu" was replaced with slightly different "Aye Zindagi Gale Laga Le" which itself went on to become a cult song in Hindi.
Sadma received widespread critical acclaim with major appreciation drawn towards Sridevi's performance. On IMDb, the film has a high score of 8.5/10. It is included in iDiva's list of '10 Must Watch Movies That Weren't Blockbusters'. Sridevi's performance as a child-woman suffering from amnesia was called by Indian Express "a milestone in her illustrious career". Sridevi also featured in the Mid Day list of 'Challenging Roles played by Bollywood Actors' describing her act in the film as "her best performance ever". In 2012, Adil Hussain, Sridevi's co-star in English Vinglish revealed that he became a fan of the actress after watching her in Sadma. The Sridevi-Kamal Haasan pair also appeared on the CNN-IBN list of 'Greatest Romantic Couples on Celluloid'. The climax of Sadma is included in the CNN-IBN list of 'Bollywood's 50 Most Memorable Scenes of All Time'.
Awards and nominations
- Filmfare Award for Best Story - Balu Mahendra
- Filmfare Best Actor Award - Kamal Haasan
- Filmfare Best Actress Award - Sridevi Kapoor
- Biswas, Soutik (15 July 1993). "A creative flowering". India Today. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
- "Gulzar on his first meeting with A.R. Rahman". Tanqeed. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- idiva.com. "10 Must Watch Movies That Weren't Blockbusters".
- Indian Express. "The Forbidden Love".
- Mid-day. "Challenging Roles played by Bollywood actors".
- Bollywoodtrade.com. "Adil Hussain: I became Sridevi's fan after watching SADMA".
- CNN-IBN. "100 Years of Indian Cinema: The greatest romantic couples on celluloid".
- CNN-IBN. "100 Years of Indian Cinema: Bollywood's 50 most memorable scenes of all time".