Aankhoon Dekhi

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FLY FREE !!!!!!!!!

Ankhoon Dekhi , written and directed by Rajat Kapoor is yet another wonderful movie, which can be called, art film, parallel cinema, off beat movie or whatever…. the fact is that it is a super movie but the sad part is that it came and went, probably unseen, unheard and unsung!

The story moves around a lower middle class family, of two brothers, elder working for a travel agency and younger a CA, living together, on the first floor of an old typical north Indian building in the interiors of Delhi. While the events in the movie for sake of creation a story move around the love story of the elder brother’s daughter, the younger brother’s family moving out to live separately, job of the elder brothers son and the daughter’s wedding, the story is more about the elder brothers mind set. He suddenly realizes that most of what they are doing in life is fake and based on second hand information and knowledge acquired on hear and say basis or reading books. He refuses to be a part of this system and to rely and use any such knowledge or information that he has not acquired himself, to the extent that he even quits his job and in phases stops to interact or talk with people.

A very simple story with a good flow has a commendable authentic screenplay and dialogues which are realistic and natural. Sanjay Sharma has acted superbly as the main lead, the elder brother and Seema Pahwa has exhibited histrionic talents of a great quality, playing his wife. She has excellently depicted a middle class north Indian housewife in fifties and reminds one of young Dina Pathak. Rajat Kapoor has himself played the younger brother and as expected has done justice to the role. The other characters have been well casted and all have delivered excellently. Music and songs suit the story and the direction is marvelous. Good editing, spontaneity, and realism are strengths of the movie. But the strongest point of the film is the authenticity which has been handled so well by Rajat Kapoor. The house, the furniture, clothes, clothes, dialogues; all add up to create a scenario where you feel a part of the family. The half sleeved crushed cotton shirt, worn over a Lucknawi pajama ,with the vest peeping out from under the shirt (Sunday longer than Monday-as we called, when we were kids) made Rajat look like a typical middle class north Indian man at home.

In a very simple and effortless manner, the movie has succeeded to subtly bring out the message about the monotonous life that we all live like robots or puppets. Our education, upbringing, social norms, domestic commitments and liabilities compel us to live a mechanical life which is devoid of life itself. It highlights the inner cry of a common man to break the bonds of duty and breathe free in open space and live as per his desire, free and in a position to lead life the way he wants. The sham and drudgery of routine conventional hand to mouth existence has been brought out as an unbearable ordeal. The inclusion of the man’s nephew in the story who has a problem of talking nonstop and is remedied when the man hears him out all times, has silently highlighted the fact that we all have lots to say too, for which we do not get genuine ears.

The ending of the movie has been left ambiguous, where the man jumps off the hill and is seen floating in the air. The pessimist may view it as a suicide and the optimistic will see it as breaking of the shackles of social life to live free and fly ! Overall and excellent movie, with a very relevant contemporary message.

Prof Sanjay Kapoor,Delhi

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