Movie Review: Zindaggi Rocks

When is Indian cinema going to appreciate directors who experiment with stories, when are we going to come out of love triangles and the mushy stuff? Year after year, Shahrukh Khan gets a Filmfare Award for the worst movies he's ever acted in. On one side, we have talented filmmakers like Tanuja Chandra who is working hard to bring cinematic excellence by experimenting with storylines. "Zindaggi Rocks" is a movie that was hardly recognized in India.

This film is tailor-made for a person like Ms. Sushmita Sen. and she does full justice to her role. After all, she is the rockstar Kriya, a stage performer and a single mother. In every right, Sushmita is the only one who deserves the accolades for this movie. She has been a single mother by adopting a son named Dhruv when he was just two years. Now, Dhruv's family consists of Kriya, Kriya's mom and twin sister (Moushumi Chatterjee), a squeaky secretary Antara (Kim Sharma) and the assistant Shardul (Ravi Gossain) who believes Dhruv is a cowboy. In the next scene we are introduced to the maverick Dr. Suraj Rihan (Shiney Ahuja).

The Shiney--Sushmita relationship grows in full view of the hospital staff and the equally curious relatives of Kriya. Ms. Tanuja Chandra portrays the warmth at work, at play and within the defined comforts of domesticity with a deftness that you'd come across in the finest works of Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Ms. Tanuja has successfully constructed the story of a film where the emotional control of the powerful story is exceptional. The support provided by Mudassar Aziz is beyond substantial. The words, especially spoken by Shiney Ahuja convey deep home truths with a throwaway casualness.

The film's deeper thrusts on life and death emerge effortlessly from the rhythms of the routine. The film instills optimum conviction in the plot without losing its innate charm as stars of substantial longevity. Shiney Ahuja essays the character whose eyes are filled with the pain of a tragedy that paints his past and threatens to colour his future in fine and sharp strokes. Ms. Sushmita Sen. illuminates the screen in every scene struggling to remain motivated as life serves her a huge blow. Ms. Sen pours a volcanic intensity to a role that would work with no other actor in the country. In a year that was cluttered with boring movies, Tanuja Chandra emerged with a work that lodged her film in your heart.


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