Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||E. V. V. Satyanarayana|
|Produced by||G. Adiseshagiri Rao|
|Based on||Suryavamsam (1997) by Vikraman|
|Cinematography||S. Gopala Reddy|
|Edited by||Gautham Raju|
|Distributed by||Padmalaya Combines|
|21 May 1999 (India)|
|Budget||₹25 crore (US$3.5 million)|
|Box office||₹136 crore (US$19 million)|
Sooryavansham (English: Lineage of the Sun god) is a 1999 Indian Hindi musical drama film starring Amitabh Bachchan in a dual role, Soundarya and Jayasudha. The film's audio cassettes and CDs were released by Venus Records & Tapes Ltd. in April 1999. Sooryavansham is the third installment of the series of multilingual films portraying an Indian father's undying love for his son, which is sometimes overshadowed by anger and wrath. Among Amitabh Bachchan's four average grossers of 1999, Sooryavansham was the second to be released. The film's initial collections were tremendous and theatrical run was also wonderful. It retained a strong position at the Box Office over the time it was screened. Besides its emotive story, Sooryavansham is remembered for its melodious songs, background music and comedic sequences. Before Sooryavansham, the trio of Amitabh Bachchan, Anupam Kher and Kader Khan had worked together in the 1998 film Bade Miyan Chote Miyan with Bachchan in dual roles. Sooryavansham marked the Bollywood debut of Telugu director E. V. V. Satyanarayana and remained his first and only directorial in Hindi. It is also the only Hindi film that the late actress Soundarya acted in.[better source needed] It is the official Hindi remake of the Tamil film Suryavamsam (1997), starring Sarath Kumar and Devayani, directed by Vikraman.
The film did average business at the box office and Amitabh Bachchan's performance in dual roles was praised by critics. In July 1999, about two months after the release of Sooryavansham, Amitabh Bachchan was accorded "The Greatest Star of Stage or Screen" distinction by BBC News online users. Since its release it has been telecast many times on the television channel - Set Max.
In an interview during Sooryavansham's inaugural shooting on 17 August 1998, actress Soundarya said that she was excited when a role in the film was offered to her and to have got an opportunity to co-star with Amitabh Bachchan. Having studied Sanskrit, the actress added, she was quite comfortable with Hindi, and could read and write it. She also asked the viewers to be optimistic about the film, although the actress was a bit dubious about her role. Sooryavansham's mahurat ceremony was attended by a number of celebrities from the Telugu cinema, including Akkineni Nagarjuna and Venkatesh Daggubati. Although revolving around father-son relationship, Sooryavansham is in the nature of Amitabh Bachchan's 70s' and 80s' drama films, in quite a few of which he shared the screen with Rekha, notably Silsila (1981 film). Mr Bachchan said that if the story was good and he liked it, he would not mind acting with Rekha again.
The film shows a true to life story of a typical Indian family, where the esteem of the family matters the most. The story is a portrayal of the job of a responsible father, obligations of a dutiful son, role of a virtuous wife and harmony in the family unified by psychological bonds.
The Sooryavansham Family Head - Thakur Bhanupratap Singh (Amitabh Bachchan) is the sarpanch of the village of Bharatpur. The people of Bharatpur respect and revere Thakur Bhanupratap for his blue blood and virtuous ideologies. Thakur Bhanupratap has done yeoman's service not only for the people of Bharatpur but also for those of the 18 neighbouring villages in the district. The local police and administration also obey his orders in the matters of law.
Thakur Bhanupratap lives in a grand mansion with his wife Sharda (Jayasudha), three sons, Karan, Varan and Heera (Amitabh Bachchan, in a dual role) and daughter Urmila. One of his sons is an engineer, one is a doctor, while Heera, the youngest one, lives like a servant in the house because of his illiteracy. It is Heera's illiteracy because of which Thakur Bhanupratap dislikes Heera, and let alone talking to him, he hates even looking at Heera. Heera is not allowed to be involved in familial matters and performs menial activities like cleaning, washing, herding cattle etc. Although hated by Thakur Bhanupratap, Heera has intense love and respect for his father, making him an ideal and worthy son. Yet, Thakur Bhanupratap's feelings for Heera are only hate and antipathy. Heera is loved and cared for by none except Sharda and Heera's close friend Dharmendra/Mindra (Anupam Kher), one of the servants in the house.
Thakur Bhanupratap arranges the marriage of his daughter Urmila. A few days before the engagement ceremony, the groom comes to his house along with his uncle Ranjit Singh (Kader Khan), a retired major, and sister Radha (Soundarya). Radha, a modern young woman, is unaware of Heera being Thakur Bhanupratap's son and makes Heera do various chores. On the day of the engagement, when Radha learns the truth from her father (Shivaji Satam), she is shocked as well as touched. Subsequently, Radha develops an eagerness to know why Heera lives like a servant in his own house. Radha inquires Dharmendra about this. Dharmendra narrates Radha Heera's past -
During his childhood, although Heera attended school, he was very weak in his studies. He scored zero in the school examinations, because of which he was beaten by his father. Even when Heera rewrote the mark on his score card to make it 100, he still got a beating from his father by getting caught after writing 100 erroneously. Heera wasn't at all interested in studies. He used to go to school only to meet Gauri, the girl who was adopted by Thakur Bhanupratap after the demise of her parents. Gauri was more than just a friend for Heera. One day at school, a teacher thrashed Gauri. Heera hit the teacher and bolted away along with Gauri. He began to hate the school where his beloved, Gauri was punished, and discontinued his academic studies. Gauri, however, continued her studies. Thakur Bhanupratap thought that Heera's company would hamper Gauri's studies and sent her to a boarding school in the city. Being separated from Gauri, Heera became desolate. Heera cheered up on the weekends when Gauri came home for the 2-days' stay, during which the two met each other. Soon, Heera and Gauri (Rachna Banerjee) attained adulthood. Thakur Bhanupratap planned Heera's marriage with Gauri. When Gauri came to know about this, she attempted suicide but was timely rescued by Heera. Gauri told Heera that she preferred death to marriage with an illiterate man like him. For Gauri, Heera was a man of straw and by marrying him, she would belittle herself in front of her educated peers. Heera let go of Gauri and thus the relationship between the two ended. Thakur Bhanupratap, learning only half the truth, was filled with more hatred for Heera than ever. Later, Gauri was married off to another man while Heera continued to live a sad and miserable life.
Radha, after listening to Heera's sad story, is overwhelmed with pity for Heera. On the day of Urmila's marriage, when everybody in the house is busy in merriment, Radha gives Heera sidelong glances and serves him food. Heera, who has not overcome the sorrow of unrequited love, pays little attention to Radha's signs of love for him. Finally, Radha proposes Heera. Heera realises that Radha is a loyal and virtuous woman, and accepts her proposal of love.
Deshraj Thakur (Mukesh Rishi) is another landowner in Bharatpur who has always wanted to supersede Thakur Bhanupratap and establish himself as the all-powerful lord of the village. Deshraj schemes to devastate Thakur Bhanupratap and his family by making Radha his daughter-in-law. If Radha is married to Deshraj's son Arjun, Radha's lawyer father will do whatever Deshraj wants. In this way, he will be able to worst his enemy Thakur Bhanupratap. Radha's mother (Bindu) approves the alliance of the marriage of Radha with Arjun. When Radha learns about this, she tells Heera through a letter that her parents have fixed her marriage with Arjun against all her wishes, and she will hang herself if Heera doesn't espouse her. Radha's mother asks Thakur Bhanupratap to make Heera move out of Radha's life. Things become worse for Heera when Thakur Bhanupratap tells him that if he abandons Radha, he will get back his filial status in his family. Dharmendra persuades Heera to accept Radha as his wife, saying Radha's love for Heera is true and pure, and only a fortunate few find true love. On the day of Radha's marriage with Arjun, Heera braves every restriction and obstacle and carries Radha away with him. Soon, Heera and Radha tie the knot. This act of Heera enrages Thakur Bhanupratap and he disowns Heera.
Heera and Radha move into Dharmendra's house on the outskirts of the village and start a new chapter in their lives. Heera gets a job as a labour in a transport company. When Radha learns that her husband has been toiling to make both ends meet, she encourages him to start his own business. With the money lent by Ranjit, Heera establishes a transport company under the name of his father. Soon, Heera becomes a rich businessman while Radha successfully completes her I.A.S. studies and is appointed the District Collector in her home district. A son is also born to the couple. Despite knowing that Heera and his family have moved up the social strata, Thakur Bhanupratap continues to hate them. Heera fulfils his father's dream of setting up a hospital for the poor. In the ceremony of the hospital's inauguration, Heera delivers a highly emotional speech, owing his success to his father, who, he believes, has expelled him from home so that he can stand on his own legs.
One day, Thakur Bhanupratap incidentally meets Heera and Radha's son. After learning that the child is his grandson, Thakur Bhanupratap starts meeting the boy secretly. The grandfather and the grandson become friends and spend jovial moments with each other. Soon, Heera comes to know that his son has been meeting Thakur Bhanupratap regularly. Heera hands some Kheer over to his son and tells him to give it to his "friend" (Thakur Bhanupratap) when he meets him next. The fact of Thakur Bhanupratap meeting Heera and Radha's son becomes known to Sharda, who urges her husband to accept Heera back into the family. Thakur Bhanupratap's love for Heera gets better of his hatred towards him, and he rings Heera up. Before Thakur Bhanupratap speaks a word to Heera over the phone, he throws up blood and becomes critically ill. Thakur Bhanupratap is immediately hospitalised and Heera is suspected of making an attempt on his father's life because it is after consuming the Kheer that Thakur Bhanupratap takes ill. The hospital is thronged by Thakur Bhanupratap's well-wishers. When Heera arrives at the hospital, Deshraj publicly holds Heera guilty of trying to kill his father with the poisoned Kheer, because of his expulsion from Thakur Bhanupratap's family. When Deshraj and his henchmen assault Heera, Thakur Bhanupratap arrives for Heera's rescue. Thakur Bhanupratap, before the crowd, lays bare the truth of the Kheer which was poisoned by Deshraj himself with artifice. Thakur Bhanupratap and Heera fight Deshraj and his henchmen until Deshraj confesses his guilt and begs pardon from Thakur Bhanupratap.
In the final scene, the kith and kin of Thakur Bhanupratap's family assemble in front of the family's grand mansion. Thakur Bhanupratap embraces Heera and the film ends.
- Amitabh Bachchan as Thakur Bhanu Pratap Singh / Heera Thakur Bhanu Pratap Singh
- Soundarya as Radha Thakur
- Jayasudha as Sharda Thakur, Heera, Karan and Varun's mother
- Rachana Banerjee as Gauri : Heera's Ex - Lover
- Anupam Kher as Dharmendra (Mindra)
- Kader Khan as Major Ranjit Kumar Singh
- Shivaji Satam as Radha's father
- Bindu as Radha's mother
- Mukesh Rishi as Deshraj Thakur / Kevda Thakur
- Ahuti Prasad as Karan, Heera's eldest brother
- Rajesh Khattar as Varun, Heera's second elder brother
- Neelima Azeem as Heera's second elder sister-in-law
- Brahmanandam as Doctor
- Ananda Vardhan as Jr. Thakur Bhanu Pratap Singh, Heera's son
- Kallu Chidambaram as Bus service customer
In the making of Sooryavansham, its director E. V. V. Satyanarayana was assisted by his son Allari Naresh who later became a prominent actor in the Telugu cinema. Before entering Bollywood, Soundarya had acted in a total of 65 South Indian films. Her brother Amarnath, who managed her career, stated that she always performed decorous roles and same would be the case in Bollywood. The movie was shot at several locations of India and Sri Lanka.
- Balaram Palace Resort, Chitrasani village, Palanpur, Gujarat, India
- Kiri Vihara, Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka
- Peradeniya Botanical Garden, Kandy, Sri Lanka
- Polonnaruwa Vatadage, Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka
- Qutb Shahi Tombs, Hyderabad, India etc.
The film score was composed by Koti while Anu Malik composed the songs of the movie. Except one, the tunes of all the songs of the film vary those of their Tamil counterparts. The songs were written by Sameer. The voices are of Kumar Sanu, Sonu Nigam, Chithra, Jaspinder Narula, Amitabh Bachchan (in the song "Chori Se Chori Se"), and Anuradha Paudwal. The song "Dil Mere Tu Deewana Hai" is portrayed in different tones – once in happy note and twice with forlorn touch. All the songs aptly relate the story through various phases.
|Track serial no.||Title||Singer(s)||Picturised on||Scene/Context|
|1||"Sooryavansham"||Sonu Nigam||Amitabh Bachchan||Thakur Bhanupratap's appearance|
|2||"Dil Mere Tu Deewana Hai"||Kumar Sanu||Amitabh Bachchan and Rachana Banerjee||Heera and Gauri's romantic attachment|
|3||"Dil Mere Tu Deewana Hai" – 2||Kumar Sanu||Amitabh Bachchan||Heera's sadness|
|4||"Dil Mere Tu Deewana Hai" – female||K. S. Chithra||Soundarya and Amitabh Bachchan||Radha's proposal of love for Heera|
|5||"Peepal Ke Patwa"||Sonu Nigam, Jaspinder Narula||Amitabh Bachchan and Soundarya||Love between Heera and Radha strengthens|
|6||"Chori Se Chori Se"||Amitabh Bachchan, Sonu Nigam, Jaspinder Narula||Amitabh Bachchan and Soundarya||Honeymoon song|
|7||"Har Subah Bahut Yaad"||Kumar Sanu, Chithra||– —||Song excluded from the film|
|8||"Kore Kore Sapne"||Kumar Sanu, Anuradha Paudwal||Amitabh Bachchan and Soundarya||Heera and Radha flourish in their lives|
|9||"Sooryavansham"||Sonu Nigam||Amitabh Bachchan||Thakur Bhanupratap and Heera fight Deshraj Thakur and his henchmen|
|10||"Kore Kore Sapne - version 2"||Kumar Sanu, Anuradha Pawdwal||Amitabh Bachchan, Soundarya, Jayasudha, Ananda Vardhan and Shivaji Satam||Thakur Bhanupratap embraces Heera|
Awards and Recognitions
|Award title||Awarded by||Artist||Film||Year|
|Best Actor Award||All India Critics Association (AICA)||Amitabh Bachchan||Sooryavansham||2000|
In India, the film had box office collections of ₹6.67 crore nett and ₹11.42 crore gross. Overseas, the film collected $285,000, including £53,000 in the United Kingdom. Worldwide, the film grossed ₹12.65 crore, equivalent to ₹102 crore (US$14 million) adjusted for inflation.
Sooryavansham's Users' Rating in The Times of India is 4.0/5. In MouthShut.com, where the film's score is 4.8/5, the users have praised its story and songs. The film's Box Office business was moderate but it breathed life into Amitabh Bachchan's career and one year later, in 2000, Mr Bachchan made his first appearance on Indian TV, hosting KBC - Season 1 and winning legions of fans.
Amitabh Bachchan's comment on the film
Amitabh Bachchan, the lead actor of the film, commented that Sooryavansham has personal connect with many. As a matter of fact, the story of the film which is based on father-son relationship in Indian social set-up shows a genuine and natural essence of the relationship in which a father wants his son to top academically, and keeps many other expectations from his son. It is the supreme duty of a son to live up to his father's expectations. The way in which the story is made and more materially, Amitabh Bachchan's realistic performance have made the film stir everyone. In his comment, Mr Amitabh has also spoken about the various exotic places where the film was shot. Anu Malik has lent music to the film.
|Surya Vamsha (2000)
|Dulha Milal Dildaar |
|Sarath Kumar||Daggubati Venkatesh||Amitabh Bachchan||Vishnuvardhan||Ravi Kishan|
|Devayani||Meena Durairaj||Soundarya||Isha Koppikar||Nagma|
|Raadhika Sarathkumar||Raadhika Sarathkumar||Jayasudha||Lakshmi|
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