There are some films we decide not to watch until they become available online. Sometimes that is a good decision. Sometimes not so much.
One film we delayed viewing until now is the 2016 Hindi film Sanam Teri Kasam ("Swear By You My Beloved" or "Sweetheart, I Swear on You"), a remake of Erich Segal's A Love Story remixed with themes from Princess Diaries and the Korean short The Library.
If you like emotional love stories, get out your tissues for this sobfest.
Saraswati "Saru" Parthasaarthy (Mawra Hocane) is the "frumpy" older daughter of the ultra-conservative Jayram Parthasaarthy. Saru's younger sister wants to wed her boyfriend but is prevented from doing so because Saru is not yet settled in marriage.
Out of desperation, Saru seeks the help of neighbor Inder Parihaar (Harshvardhan Rane). While he is despised by most of the residents for his drinking and womanizing, Saru knows that Inder has connections that can help. However, misunderstandings about the relationship between Saru and Inder cause her father to disown her.
Devastated by her father's rejection, Inder helps Saru get back on her feet and find a husband because she believes that if a suitable suitor is found she may win back her place in the family. Little does Saru know that Inder secretly harbors a deep affection for her.
Mawra Hocane's waifish Saru may seem like a pushover, but her resolve in the face of the tragic events that unfold in her life show an internal strength. Through her painful journey, she matures from a girl needing support to an independent woman who provides support to others.
As the tortured Inder with a dark past, Harshvardan Rane tugs at your heartstrings with his brooding, hulking presence. His tattooed torso is a visible reminder of his own tragic story and serves as protective armor against the heartbreak of watching the suffering of Saru.
As the local police inspector, Murli Sharma plays a small but important recurring role which needs to be recognized. While he is known for his supporting role in a multitude of films produced by different studios throughout India, his compassionate performance in this film offers a memorable model for anyone wielding power over the lives of others.
Sanam Teri Kasam's tragic tale isn't found solely in the alienation of Saru from her family. We soon learn that Saru suffers from the same illness as Love Story's Ali McGraw – the beautiful-actress-with-a-fatal-disease syndrome. While we are saddened to know her days are numbered, it is the suffering of Inder that brings pathos to the story.
While Inder and Saru's love story is "sealed with a curse", it is Inder's dedication to Saru despite all obstacles that offers a catharsis of sorts for the lovelorn. His commitment to Saru's well-being demonstrates what real friendship and love means.
While identified as a remake of Love Story, this version thankfully deviates sufficiently from the original. One refreshing change is a revision of the nonsensical line "love means never having to say you're sorry." Instead, Sanam Teri Karam reminds us to say "Sorry" and "I love you" whenever needed because, without these words, relationships go nowhere.
A beautiful film with a haunting soundtrack, the tragic love story of Saru and Inder offers a new interpretation of an old story that hits all the right emotional chords.
The following playlist features trailers for Sanam Teri Kasam.
Posters and Graphics
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