The story of Sujata revolves around an untouchable girl who is orphaned ands is provided shelter by and engineer Upendranath Choudhury (Tarun Bose), and his wife, Charu (Sulochana). This family belongs to the Brahmin caste. Although it is initially decided that the arrangement to keep her is temporary but later due to several postponements she is left with the family. Sujata is loved by the family and is recognised like their own daughter, Rama (Shashikala). Sujata is, however, of the difference between her and Rama. She realises that the family that she calls her own is different from her. Problems start arising when the Rama's marriage is arranged. Their in-laws are Brahmin and they are disturbed by the fact that Sujata is an untouchable. But they relent and agree to the match provided Sujata is married off beforehand.
On the other hand another complication arises as Adhir (Sunil Dutt) falls in love with Sujata although he is engaged to marry Rama. The romance between Adhir and Sujata is lyrically developed by the ace director Bimal Roy. He is one of those directors who could portray the most lofted and complex emotions and notions simply and deftly. Besides their love story the entire story is told in restrained episodes and the pace is steady. The film never becomes overtly melodramatic or subsides into self pity which could have easily destroyed the beauty of the film.
Adhir's frequent visits to the Choudhury's strengthen his feelings for Sujata. He expresses his desire to marry Sujatha and not Rama. Charu is enraged know that the marriage of her own daughter is being jeopardised by the untouchable girl to whom they have given shelter years ago. The film ends on a happy note when Sujata donates blood to Rama and saves her life in the process. After this incident Charu accepts Sujata as her own daughter and gives her consent to the marriage.
Sujata explores a major problem that has plagued the nation for years: untouchability. The film closely looks at the dilemma of the untouchables and it is one of the moving films that have been made on this issue. After lighthearted films like Madhumati and Yahudi Bimal Roy returns to his set of realistic films with Sujata. In the film Bimal Roy assertively states that inter caste marriages are definitely possible.
Nutan is spellbinding in the lead role. The grace with which her character silently suffers is brilliantly portrayed on screen. Sunil Dutt complements her in the role of Adhir. Undoubtedly they make a delightful couple. Taking in account the storyline, the performances, the performances and the cinematography it would not be wrong to spell Sujata as one the masterpieces by Bimal Roy.
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