SYNOPSIS - ABHIMAAN
("CONCEIT")

  1. Subir Kumar (AMITABH BACHCHAN), a famous, up-and-coming singer, performs at a sold-out show. Later, he talks to his good friend Chitra. His assistant, Chandru, warns him that friendships between men and women are impossible, and that Chitra is not the right material for a wife: she will distract him from his career. What he needs, Chandru asserts, is a woman who will take care of him.

  2. A random woman named Radha calls and confesses to Subir that she is in love with him. Subir, unable to sleep, wakes up Chandru. Chandru advises him that the cure for the restlessness of the newly-famous is to take a wife.

  3. After letting Chitra talk him into a whiskey a half-hour before his recording session, Subir discovers that the importunate group in his office trying to secure a singing date has been recommended by his aunt Durga, the woman who raised him after his parents died. Overcome by nostalgia, Subir takes a day off to go visit his aunt.

  4. Aunt Durga is not pleased at the news that Subir must leave so soon. He hears a beautiful voice and is informed by his aunt that it must be the daughter of a local classical musician. When he hears the voice on departure, he goes to follow it and discovers its lovely owner, Uma. She admires his singing but councils him to sing for himself rather than to suit his fans' tastes. Fascinated by the conversation, he runs late for his flight and says that if he misses it, it will be Uma's fault, which doesn't sit well with Uma.

  5. Having missed his flight, Subir returns to Durga's and tells her he got off the plane when he decided that she would be crying about his leaving so soon. Later, when Uma hears from Durga's mouth the "reason" for his return to the village, she is not impressed by his lie. Still, a special bond forms between them as they walk through the village and she explains the spiritual signifcance and magic of every day life. He asks her if she will be sad when he leaves on the morrow., forcing her to admit that she will, indeed, feel lonely. He admits that he will feel lonely too, even in crowds, because she won't be there.

  6. Aunt Durga tells Subir that he should get married and she knows just the girl - Uma! He shocks her by agreeing. The two are married.

  7. At a party thrown in honor of the newlyweds, Subir convinces Uma to sing with him, explaining that if she becomes nervous, she need only look into his face, and that whenever he touches his lower lip, it will be an indication that he has kissed her in his mind. Thus heartened, Uma wows the audience, particularly a famed classical singer in attendance by the name of Brijeshwaraiji. Later, when Subir announces that from now on he will sing only with Uma, Brijeshwaraiji confides to a friend that he fears this is a grave mistake, for Uma is far more talented than Subir - and such a realization, in light of the popular belief that men are superior in all things, will surely prove a strain on the marriage.

  8. The lovestruck Radha calls again, demanding to know if it's true that Subir has been married. He confirms the rumor but says he is desperately seeking ways to divorce his new bride. Uma then introduces herself, to Radha's horror. Later, Uma and Subir commence their joint singing career.

  9. As Uma and Subir begin to settle into married life, an offer come in for Uma to sing alone. She initially refuses, but Subir convinces her to accept the job. He persuades her that as a married couple, they are like one person, and when one of them sings, it is as though the other were singing too.

  10. Uma becomes an instant hit. Chandru is compelled to create an awards shelf for her, just like the one he's made for Subir. As photographers begin to shoot her alone, Subir grows uncomfortable with his new position as sidekick to the star.

  11. Chandru congratulates Uma on the fact that four of her songs have topped the chart. Uma, who has noticed Subir's growing distance, tells Chandru that she will no longer sing. Subir attacks her, calling her atittude irresponsible (to those who have signed her for their albums and are depending on her performance) and typically female. She concedes that she will finish her current committments and then take no more jobs. Later, as Chandru escorts her to a job, a music director calls. Subir wrongly assumes that his own services are being sought, and is rudely shocked when the man requests Uma.

  12. When Chandru complains about the amount of fanmail being received for Uma, and his own inability to keep up with everything, Subir suggests he work exclusively for Uma, and hire another secretary for Subir. Chandru is appalled at the suggestion. A job offer comes for Uma; thinking to dissuade the man, Chandru says that Uma's rate has gone up to 5000 Rs. (1000 more than Subir's!) and is shocked when the man agrees to pay that amount. Later, when a man seeks Subir's services, Subir says his going rate is now 6000 Rs. The man refuses to pay that amount.

  13. Subir seeks comfort from Chitra, but is upset when she puts on one of his songs. He agrees, caustically, with her praise of Uma's voice. He confides that while he once felt alone, now he feels even more so. She tells him that we are all alone, thanks to our pride and ego. She advises him to endure whatever's troubling him, but he says he'd rather seek seek solace in alcohol-induced unconsciousness.

  14. Chandru scolds Subir for missing a recording session and trying to surpass Uma simply because he's read somewhere that men should be more successful than women. Subir explodes: "Don't forgetthis is my house!" Chandru is shattered by this "repayment" of his long-standing loyalty: "Thank you for reminding me - I had forgotten."

  15. Uma is honored at a music festival. Subir and Chitra listen to her on the radio. Later, Uma comes to retrieve Subir, and he lashes out at her for treating him like a child. When they return home, he tells her not to sacrifice her career for him, because he doesn't need anybody. She wonders, then what right do I have to stay here? He says he doesn't know the answer to that. Uma is horrified, and flees for her home village.

  16. Uma's dad disapproves of her flight from her husband's home until he learns from Durga that Uma is pregnant. Durga and Uma write Subir (not mentioning the pregnancy) but he doesn't reply. Finally Uma writes to Chandru, confiding news of her pregnancy as well as her sole dream: to see Subir sing again.

  17. Subir learns of Uma's pregnancy from Chandru, but refuses to go see her, saying that he won't go running after her since she was the one who left in the first place.

  18. Chandru visits the village. He lies and says that singing dates prevented Subir from accompanying him, but Uma realizes the truth. He assures her that everything will work out once the baby arrives. She bitterly replies that everyone has been telling her that.

  19. Uma loses the baby.

  20. Durga writes her third letter begging him to come see Uma. He refuses, does not even reply. Durga shows up in person to castigate him. She says she's come to pray at the temple, to ask God to either heal Uma or take her.

  21. Uma can't even bear to hear music. When Subir arrives, impelled by guilt, Durga tells him to take Uma to a good doctor in the city. Subir begs Uma's forgiveness, but receives no response.

  22. The doctor tells Subir that Uma is suffering from mental shock, and that the best they can do is to try to make her confront her losses and move forward. Chandru and Subir try to do so by showing her the sock she knitted for her dead child, but they make little progress; she simply tells them to throw the sock away.

  23. Desperate, Subir consults Brijeswaraiji, who councils him to use music. Subir says that music is the enemy itself, but Brijeshwaraiji disagrees, arguing that music is what brought Uma and Subir together, and that Uma will not be able to forgive herself until she hears Subir taking pleasure from music once more.

  24. Subir prepares to sing at a Silver Jubilee function. He tells the audience he doesn't know whether he's worthy of their praise, and he confides that he's going to sing a song that is not just a song, but a dream shared by his wife and him, a dream that was not to be (he earlier sang this with Uma in anticipation of having a child with her). The song is interrupted by Uma's breakdown. She recovers as she sings the rest with Subir.


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