Wednesday, December 20, 2006
'baabul' or bubble?
s had seen 'baghban' and liked it. she suggested we see 'baabul' (girl's father)directed by ravi chopra, expecting it to be of a similar class. we both returned very disappointed. you just don't connect with the film and its characters.
the film addresses a burning social issue. widow remarriage.it is also about the father-in-law becoming the father.in modern times, a daughter-in-law must be considered like a daughter.so far so good. it highlights the fact that this is still a taboo in the so-called modern indian society.
a film is considered to be a medium which can influence the perceptions of society. however,in this regard, it has not achieved much success. people's attitudes on this subject remain fairly deep-rooted. there are about 40 million widows in india. social ostracism,abandonement by children,rape by in-laws,and financial and sexual exploitation by priests are all happening all the time. a succession of legislations hasn't helped either. widows are still seen as a curse. the husband is seen as a god. and once the god is lost the woman becomes a zero.
'water' and 'white rainbow' are also recent films which have focussed on widows. about 50 years ago br films had produced 'ek hi rasta', which was about widow remarriage and directed by b r chopra. the son, ravi chopra,who is now carrying the torch, has not handled the story competently .the first half is so slow that i asked s whether we should go home. (normally it is the other way around!) the speed catches up a bit after interval. but then,the interest is already lost and except for some fine acting by amitabh there is nothing else in the movie.
avi(salman khan) is the only child of the kapoors(amitabh and hema malini).he returns from abroad after his education and is pampered by his parents.amitabh while playing golf accidentally spoils the painting being done by mili(rani mukeherji) when the golfball falls into the paintcan which in turn results in a splash on the painting. millie is very upset.they have a tiff and millie leaves with a bitter taste in her mouth about the attitude of these rich people. avi meets mili by accident a few times and falls in love with her.he puts up a show that he is a commoner and working for balraj kapoor(amitabh) as he he knows that mili will reject him if she comes to know that he is balraj's son. millie comes from a middleclass family and her head is properly fixed on her shoulders.when she comes to know that avi has told a lie and that he indeed is balraj's son she is terribly hurt.balraj makes up by apologising to her and says that his son whom he calls 'buddy'(and vice versa) is really not at fault because he was aware of the cold relationship between them and did not want to lose millie. later millie and avi court each other,they get married and millie has a son,ansh .her boyhood friend rajat( john abraham) who loves her dearly is sad that millie has found another person but her happiness is supreme for him.after millie's marriage,rajat who is a musician goes away to europe. avi goes to london for a business meeting but on his return he meets with an accident very near his home and dies.
millie is totally devastated and is on the point of a complete breakdown.balraj empathises with his daughter- in- law and thinks of a solution to bring back happiness to millie's life. he meets rajat and tells him about avi's tragic death and would he marry millie whom he loves and bring back happiness to her life? rajat agrees; but then balaraj's elder brother balwant living in rural punjab would have nothing of it. he says the marriage will take place only over his dead body.he accuses balraj of having invited their widowed sister- in- law for millie's first marriage much against his objections and for having brought bad luck upon his household.now he will not allow millie, a widow, to marry a second time.balraj prevails on balwant who realises his folly and relents.
amitabh carries the movie on his shoulders.he even sings a song in his own voice.the climax is when he gives his state-of-the-nation type address .just the way he did in 'baghban'. rani mukeherjee is passable. salman as the happy- go- lucky pampered son is ok.parmeet sethi,aman verma and sarika are practically on mute.the music is below average. a story of good intentions sadly defeated.
our great expectations burst like a bubble.