Two 1962 films make interesting viewing

Strange that both were released the same year

Anpadh - concerns a college graduate man marrying a barely lettered woman

Dr Vidya - concerns a lady doctor marrying a school-dropout man

Messy uneven films offering striking insights
One of the reasons I highly recommend watching old films (particularly films released before 1970) - even bad ones, is because they double up as history lessons even if they are old fashioned melodramas
They are the closest we have to a record from the past.

Sure...they may be fiction, but nevertheless offer a window into how men and women spoke and thought. Barely 50-60 years ago - an age that appears so very remote to us today
Post 1970 - the films are less enriching from this angle as they are primarily made by actors/directors whose adult life for the most part has been in independent India

There is a huge difference in the attitudes / values of someone born in 1930 vs 1950 and it shows in the films
Let me pick a couple of examples from the two films cited -

In Film B an elderly couple (parents of a girl named Geeta), refer to each other as "Geeta ki Ma" and "Geeta ke pita"
Its very striking as it shows how the couple see each other not as romantic partners, but as parents of the same child.

It highlights the centrality of the child to their marriage. It defines their marriage.
Sharp contrast to unions in our times, where the kid hardly ever defines the relationship to the same extent

In fact these days people take offense if you say that the central objective of a marriage is to have kids

Sea change in attitudes..For better or worse
Another example worth highlighting is the changing nature of arranged marriage in middle class India

Back in 1962, in many arranged marriages parents arranged just about everything, and the groom and bride often never got an opportunity to even see each other before marriage
Whereas today, arranged marriages invariably involve a "dating" period of sorts. And it is hardly ever "arranged" in the sense of parents driving everything with kids hardly being involved in any way
One might think the state of affairs in 1962 was horrendous. But no.

In these films, you see that the groom and bride are often v v excited about the marriage. The total lack of knowledge of the spouse in fact adds to the anticipation
This again highlights the chasm in attitudes of young men and women in 1962 vs today

While in 1962, most people (even educated ones) saw "love" as something that develops after marriage, in 2018, young people see "love" or at least "rapport / familiarity" as a pre-requisite
Many such examples galore

Watching old films reminds us on how far we have moved on (or strayed) (depending on one's perspective)

It also reminds us that there are so many ways of living, and that many things that "bother" us were hardly a bother barely 2 generations back
PS : A thought on the selection of which films to watch

Most "critics" would recommend watching films that have "aged" well

I suggest the opposite

Watch the most badly dated films. As they teach you more about life back then than films in tune with your present sensibilities
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