"Take movies, music, poetry out of life & its gone!"

Satyakam (1969) - (Movies To See Before You Die - Drama)

06 Oct, 2007 | Movies To See Before You Die / Drama

Hrishikesh Mukherjee's National Award Winner film, SATYAKAM is a thought provoking, social drama based on the novel by Narayal Sanyal questioning the value and need of being truthful in a society. It begins with a Mahatma Gandhi quote saying “To me God is Truth and Love. God is Conscience. God is Fearlessness” and then introduces the protagonist courageously following the same throughout the film, struggling with his failures and his own existence.
With such an experimental or off-beat subject brilliantly adapted for a film in the late 60s, SATYAKAM is rightly considered as one of the key achievements in the career of both director Hrishikesh Mukherjee and his cast including Dharmendra, Sharmila Tagore, Sanjeev Kumar, Ashok Kumar and more. Reportedly conceived post their delightful experience together in ANUPAMA (1966), the film repeated the same team as an initiative taken by Dharmendra himself and is also widely quoted as his most impressive performance till date, different from the more famous, mainstream image of a tough, macho-man. Interestingly its said to be the most loved and cherished performance by Dharmendra too, who sadly wasn’t awarded any reputed recognition for his realistically subtle yet aggressive act.
Revolving around an honest principled youngster, SATYAKAM makes a concerning comment upon the paradoxes seen post-independence in the free India, contradicting everything that was brightly assumed and propagated during the freedom struggle. As the story progresses from the young boys college life to their respective jobs in the new independent India, it exposes how nothing gets changed with corruption openly being practiced in the major departments and people asking for bribes and compromises, backstabbing each other working for their personal interests. This unexpectedly tainted scenario seen through the eyes of a truthful young Indian forms the core subject of the film raising some relevant questions, which are unfortunately equally applicable and apt for the present much developed India too post almost half a century.
Without revealing its main plot, ‘terminal illness’ also comes as a crucial twist in SATYAKAM, which later went on to become the basic premise of two of Mukherjee’s most famous films as ANAND and MILI. Though the film’s soundtrack doesn’t offer any great, outstanding songs composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal (inlcuding a likable 'Zindagi Hai Kya'), it’s the significant theme, solid performances, outstanding dialogues and the flawless direction that makes it an all-time classic of Hindi cinema without any slightest of doubt. In fact the profound conversations between the key characters at various stages of the film can easily be stated as its major highlight for which Rajinder Singh Bedi got his Filmfare Award (as the dialogue writer) and the movie won the National Award for the Best Feature Film in Hindi.
Interestingly Deols immense love and respect for the film could also be seen recently in their GHAYAL ONCE AGAIN (2016) too wherein Sunny Deol is shown owning a newspaper named SATYAKAM with a tag line ‘Nothing But The Truth’.
In short, SATYAKAM is one of the most important and socially relevant films with an unforgettable moving climax that stays with you for hours and then forces you to think about its various characters and their individual fights with the truth. A not to be missed, must watch gem for the younger generation in particular, revisiting the way cinema was conceived and presented in those days with a sense of social responsibility.

Directed By Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Starring : Dharmendera, Sharmila Tagore, Sanjeev Kumar, Ashok Kumar and more.
Dialogues : Rajinder Singh Bedi
Lyrics : Kaifi Azmi
Music : Laxmikant Pyarelal

(*Rewritten with additions in June 2018)

Tags : Satyakam An overview by Bobby Sing, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Dharmendera, Sharmila Tagore, Sanjeev Kumar, Ashok Kumar, Rajinder Singh Bedi, Laxmikant Pyarelal, Movies To See Before You Die, Must See Movies List By Bobby Sing
06 Oct 2007 / Comments ( 10 )

Just an info for all like minded friends - This movie is based on the novel (same name) written by one of the great writers - Narayan Sanyal

Bobby Sing

Thanks for the addition Avik.
(Actually all these initial short write-ups on films were actually written for a DVD rental website in the initial years of the new millennium. So they are just to the point without the details. Would love to update them with more info, but lets see, when time allows me to do so.)

Keep Visiting and Writing in.

Bobby Sing

Have updated the article Avik, as it was due from a long time.
Do check again if possible.

There was one good song in the movie in the bus... something on the lines zindgi hai kya
Bobby Sing

Yes Purnima, it was a good song and have now mentioned that in the article too.

Yes that was a song used to come up a lot in chitraahaar etc and used to love that... zindgi hai bandar (asrani saying)
Bobby Sing

True Purnima,
Keep Visiting and Writing in,

Nahk Ring

First Indian movie describing life of a Whistleblower. I have tried to bring home this point in my YouTube videos Satyapriya Whistleblower Part 1, 2 and 3.

Bobby Sing

Thanks for sharing information about your videos on the subject Nahk Ring.
Keep Visiting and Writing in,

Anushka Tulsyan

Hi! Where can I watch this movie? Any link

Bobby Sing

Its easily available on Youtube.
Just search the title in Youtube and you will get the link.

Leave A Comment
E-mail (will not be published)
Website (Optional)
Enter shown code