Saturday, 14 March 2009

Movie Review: Aandhi

The Hindi word, "Aandhi" has always enamoured me. The mania for the word is the same, as it was two years ago for "Manthan". In hindsight, both the words have two distinct meanings but in a way, both are Hindi words and are films. Both the films are coming-of-age movies, although they were nearly thirty years ago.

The film "Aandhi" is a fine example of an Indian woman who is career-driven and tries to balance her professional political life and personal life. Suchithra Sen, as the political leader, Aarti Devi, does full justice to the part assigned to her. It is undoubtedly one of the best milestone performances in Hindi Cinema. Despite the heavy Bengali intonation in her voice, she manages to deliver her dialogues convincingly. Katrina Kaif certainly needs to take a few lessons from Suchithraji before playing Sonia Gandhi. Looking at the finer points of the movie, the movie draws parallels to the life of Tarakeshwari Sinha and partially, Indira Gandhi.

Sanjeev Kumar, as the torn husband, certainly illuminates the silver screen with his sheer screen presence. The most moving scene in the movie came in between in the song, "Tere Bina" in which he tells Suchithra in Hindi, "Can you see this moon? It always spreads its light with others. In the middle comes the Amavasya night. Mostly, Amavasya lasts for 15 days, but this time it was very long." A moved Suchithra asks, "The Amavasya lasted for full nine years." Coming to think of it, where would you find writers like Satyadev Dubey or films with so much meaning and simplicity in today's times?

The movie is decorated with the timeless music of the eternal music maestro R.D. Burman. He has ensured that each song is remembered even so many years later. Gulzarsaab has always been one of the best lyricists in the film industry since his 'Bandini' days and a person who can understand the finer points of poetry--as a work of art, will surely be able to appreciate the movie's timeless songs. The film can still be watched today only if you have an appetite for political cinema.

Gulzarsaab slowly draws the movie to the climax with Suchithra addressing a public rally questioning the public, "what was my fault if I happened to spend time with my husband?". Although, she isn't interested in standing for the elections, her party members force her to. The news is then transmitted through AIR informing that Aarti Devi has won the elections and has been chosen to be the Prime Minister of the country. The film ends on a dramatic note with Suchithra boarding a helicopter and leaving for Delhi. Sanjeev Kumar, as the torn husband, bids a tearful and sad adieu to his wife. It is one of the best endings I've seen in a long long time, an ending that manages to leave a lump in your throat.

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