Safar (film)

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For other uses, see Safar (disambiguation).
Directed by Asit Sen
Produced by Mushir-Riaz
Written by Asit Sen (screenplay)
Inder Raj Anand (dialogue)
Anil Ahuja (dialogue)
Story by Ashutosh Mukherjee
Starring Rajesh Khanna
Sharmila Tagore
Feroz Khan
Music by Kalyanji Anandji
Indeevar (lyrics)
Cinematography Kamal Bose
Edited by Tarun Dutta
Distributed by M.R. Productions
Release date
Running time
140 min
Country India
Language Hindi

Safar (English: Journey) is a 1970 Indian Hindi film produced by the Mushir-Riaz duo and directed by Asit Sen, based on a novel by Bengali writer Ashutosh Mukherjee. The film stars Ashok Kumar, Rajesh Khanna, Sharmila Tagore and Feroz Khan in lead roles. The film became the tenth top-grossing production of the year. It won one Filmfare Awards and four BFJA Awards. Rajesh Khanna received nomination for BFJA Awards for Best Actor (Hindi).Asit Sen remade the 1956 Bengali film Chalachal, which was directed by him, in Hindi as Safar (1970).[1] As per review by critics, Safar was carried more than ably by Khanna’s immense charm at the peak of his popularity.[2]Rajesh Khanna beautifully conveys his character's desperation and his conviction that surviving by a slender thread is not really living.[3]This film is counted among the 17 consecutive hit films Rajesh Khanna between 1969 and 1971, by adding the two hero films Marayada and Andaz to the 15 consecutive solo hits he gave from 1969 to 1971.[4] The movie is a remake of director's own 1956 Bengali movie Chalachal.[5]


Movie starts with the desperate attempt of surgeon Dr.Neela (Sharmila Tagore) to save a patient, who she knew wasn't going to survive. She works under the guidance of Dr. Chandra (Ashok Kumar) who tells her that however hard doctors might try, sometimes a patient wouldn't survive. The story drifts into flashback. Neela meets Avinash (Rajesh Khanna) at medical college and after an initial misunderstanding, grows close to him. Avinash is a poor guy who works while attending medical college. He paints too and Neela finds out that most of his paintings are of her. Though he admires Neela very much, he never talks about love or marriage. Everyone thinks that it's because of his financial status, but it is later revealed that he has terminal cancer.

Neela, due to financial troubles, starts working as a tutor where she meets her student's elder brother, businessman Shekhar Kapoor (Feroz Khan). Shekhar admires her and later meets his elder brother Kalidas (I. S. Johar) to ask her hand in marriage. Kalidas redirects him to Avinash saying that Neela would listen to him. Shekhar meets Avinash who approves of him and recommends him to Neela. Neela understands that Avinash has no intention to marry her, so she agrees to marry Shekhar. They spend some time happily but Shekhar always feels Neela wouldn't love him as much as he loves her. Facing losses in business, he expects Neela's empathy but gets none.

Moreover, Neela regularly visits her brother's house where Avinash was a frequent visitor. Shekhar slowly grows suspicious of Neela and Avinash and asks his younger brother to spy on her. Later he finds a love letter, written by Avinash in the handwriting of Neela just for fun. Shekhar thinks that Neela has written that and becomes devastated. He wants to free her from him and commits suicide. Police suspects that Neela and Avinash killed him and arrests Neela as Avinash disappears.

At the trial, Shekhar's mother Mrs Kapoor (Nadira) testifies in favour of Neela and the court acquits her. Later it is revealed that Avinash left to get away from their marital lives not knowing that Shekhar had committed suicide. Later he comes back in the final stage of his disease and dies in Dr Chandra's hospital. Heart-broken and devastated, Neela wouldn't want to live anymore but Dr.Chandra consoles and takes her under his wing to make her a great surgeon like him. The film ends with Neela sending her brother-in-law abroad for studies and dedicating her life to medical profession.


Supported by Mahesh Kumar, Brahmchari, Iftikar, Birbal, Master Sachin, Jagdish Raj, Ratan Gaurang, Parsuram, Narbada Shanker, Avtar Singh & Oscar.


Reception and awards[edit]

Safar became the tenth highest grossing film of the year in India.[6] In a retrospective review, wrote, "Safar is a story of ordinary people grappling with staggering challenges and compromises. But in this refreshingly non-melodramatic fare, a murmur of protest, an escaped sob and a half-concealed smirk are the only emotional luxuries its characters afford themselves in the inexplicable journey of life, the eponymous safar of the title."[7]

Safar received two nominations at the annual Filmfare Awards and won one award. Asit Sen received his first Best Director award (he was previously nominated in this category for Mamta in 1967), though the film was not nominated for the Best Film award.[8] Sharmila Tagore received her second Best Actress nomination (she won the previous year for Aradhana). Awards and nominations are listed below:

The Bengal Film Journalists' Association acknowledged Safar as the eighth best Indian film of 1970, and gave it three more awards:[9]

  • BFJA Awards, Best Screenplay (Hindi) - Asit Sen
  • BFJA Awards, Best Dialogue (Hindi) - Inder Raj Anand
  • BFJA Awards, Best Editing (Hindi) - Tarun Dutta


Studio album by Kalyanji Anandji
1970 (India)
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Producer Kalyanji Anandji
Kalyanji Anandji chronology
Holi Ayee Re

The soundtrack of the film contains 5 songs. The music is composed by Kalyanji Anandji, with lyrics authored by Indeevar.

# Song Singer(s)
1. "Hum The Jinke Sahare" Lata Mangeshkar
2. "Jeevan Se Bhari" Kishore Kumar
3. "Jo Tumko Ho Pasand" Mukesh
4. "Nadiya Chale" Manna Dey, Rajesh Khanna
5. "Zindagi Ka Safar" Kishore Kumar


External links[edit]