In 1978, "Pati Patni Aur Woh" appeared, a film made by B. R. Chopra and starring Sanjeev Kumar, Vidya Sinha and Ranjita. Treating adultery in a somewhat cavalier fashion, it is more concerned with the generalization that a woman's commitment to her husband is total, whwewas a man's is not--a notion that is a source of tension in a society caught between modernism and tradition. It is this theme that gave to the film a certain kind of relevance.
The film presents the hero having extra-marital relations with his secretary. While there are allusions in this to the typical male sexual fantasy, the film does succeed in implying the inadequacy of the puritanical model of marriage. The female who lives within the earlier "pati vrata" image and is confined to the home, cannot keep pace with her husband. This is particularly true in an industrial society where change is a constant phenomenan.
" Pati Patni Aur Woh" reveals a surprisingly relevant perception of a significant conflict within a traditional society undergoing modernisation, as in India. It adopts a comic genre, evident in its light bantering tone. For example, when the hero ( Sanjeev Kumar) is leaving for work he turns to his wife and asks her to button his coat. She replies, "What's the use? You will unbutton it the moment you go out ". It is the creation of new values that brings about unexpected human alignments and alienations. It creates new polarities that determine human consciousness. Thus the "patni" is the opposite of the " woh", a tantalizing kind of conundrum and an examplification both of the eternal dilemma of human sexuality and of its more contemporary and glamourised ramifications.
The way the hero is trying to move the lady-secreary to pity by his counterfeit gloom of his wife's serious illness is not only humourous but thought-provoking. The director wants to show males have an inherent tendency to rouse pity in women, for which he often takes to fabrication. Pity gives way to affection that ultimately brings on weekness. It is in the climax when "the patni" comes face to face with the "woh" and the artful effort of the "pati" ends in smoke. Still, basic instint of the husband remains unchanged. Here Sanjeev Kumar is a womanizer who, by dint of his artful continues with his practice even with his new secretary( Parveen Bobby). Tasting of the "forbidden apple"is the natural original sin.
Sanjeev Kumar has come out of his gravity-bound cloister, and took the role as a challenge. Of course, he does not represent the male-race at large, because all men do not indulge in extra-marital bent. It his his challengible role.