Not only does Aan Milo Sajna have that in spades, but I swear somebody with a penchant for levelheadedness actually wrote the plot and the dialogue (which is not something I expect of most films of the period). People behave according to what they know, but also allow for the unknowns in their decisions. They *mostly* muddle through their extreme difficulties thoughtfully, trying to figure out solutions rather than just reacting to their circumstances.
I could also talk about Nirupa Roy or Tarun Bose in this film (who both blew me away), but I think others have sung their praises elsewhere.
This film is exceptionally commensensical in its characters, relationship progression, and in *some* of its ideals. And, yay! nobody spends half of the film in prison. The romantic leads (Rajesh Khanna and Asha Parekh) speed past some of the usual romcom potholes (a lengthy "drama" of fake fiance-dom) with nary a word of rebuke or a "nahiiiiiiin." In fact, their relationship is refreshingly playful and flirtatious. Don't expect runaway chemistry . . . this pairing is all about the quiet charm of two people who amuse one another and probably will go on to have an extremely boring (and extremely happy) married life.
Even the parents have layers, thoughts, emotions beyond what the usual weepy "Maaa" background score would suggest. And yet, it does misstep in the middle, perhaps due to the inherent ability of each of the main characters to actually TALK through their problems and mistakes with one another. It takes a superhuman effort by the villain to bring this train back off (or on) the rails . . . and I think it succeeds by the end. I really expected the ratio of fake blood to climactic deaths to be reversed . . . and I was happy to be proved wrong in my assumptions.
I was watching the "The Bombay Superstar" documentary on Rajesh recently (shout out to RK expert Suhan for sending me in that direction), and beyond the realization that the dialogue and attitude toward Bollywood in the West has probably always been tainted by outright snobbery (frankly, the narrative journalist came off as a pretentious ass), I was again struck by how very much I am fascinated with the man behind the iron curtain of fame. It will forever haunt me, I think, that I never had a chance to meet him or interview him (oh-the-hubris to think that could have happened, but a girl can wish).
Overall, the documentary is a rare window into the "backstage" goings on of Rajesh Khanna's life and career. And there were several small moments in the interviews with Rajesh that pretty near broke my heart. I'm not sure if I can describe why, exactly, but there was something in his voice and reactions that said a lot more than his words. Listening to his cryptic remarks (albeit to a caustic foreign press), some people probably see a man struggling to maintain his fame, others a man who was merely resting on his laurels, and some are probably just left wondering what the fuss was/is all about.
I'll tell you what I see. I see a man who was tired. And for a damn good reason, too. Just a brief look at the number of films the man made in a three year period makes me want to take a long vacation. I can't believe some people had the gall to call him lazy for showing up late on set . . . when he was working two or three films in day, and by some accounts, leading a busy night life as well. Ok, maybe he wasn't the only one pulling multiple shifts, but that doesn't mean it was healthy in any way. [Keeping that kind of schedule would exhaust me at best, destroy me utterly at worst.] Even if he wasn't as introverted as he appears (I will maintain that onscreen bravado does not an offscreen extrovert make), his working hours alone must have led to negative psychological repercussions. Add the blistering magnifying glass of fame, and you have the formula for a spontaneous combustion.
That's not to say that he didn't reach for fame. But I don't think he liked the way it reached back for him.