I suppose I ought to compose a review – if I can collect my thoughts, that is – almost a month after having seen this movie – and before I see another Hindi one. So, what’s the verdict, you say? Thumbs-up or thumbs-down? Well, I’ll give it a thumbs-up, fine. And that’s not necessarily half-heartedly so, even though it might sound like that. The thumbs-up is for a well-crafted story that examines the dynamics of a multi-generational Indian family in post-modern India – and the undertone of disappointment, if any, is owing to a personal dissonance with the way that the drama in this family-drama is addressed by individual family members.
So, what’s the drama, you ask? Well, it does cover a wide gamut of universal human emotions that range from jealousy and infidelity, to sibling rivalry, revenge, and the many “dysfunctions” of a family unit in which good intentions do not always translate to good actions. And in the midst of all this, there is some small relief in the romantic pursuits of two young people trying to find themselves even as they try to find each other.
For a Hindi film, there are some unchartered waters that the story treads – ever so lightly, and in this, perhaps the portrayal of the characters involved isn’t too far from the truth of how such sticky matters are most likely addressed in this day and age, back in the old country (I refer to my motherland, India, of course).
As for other elements of the film that bear note, there is the lovely topography and landscapes of the lovely hill-station Coonoor, a sleepy town in the hills of Tamil Nadu, but it must be noted that the family and related friends of family here do not appear – in physical appearance or manner – to be natives of the region, i.e., Tamil. Nonetheless, this minor detail doesn’t detract too much from the engaging style of the characters and the plot, although, I would question if the portrayal of the young woman is anything even remotely similar to a young woman in that situation. Perhaps it is, but then again, perhaps I’ve been away from the motherland for far too long to know any different.
As for the personal dissonance to some of the themes of the movie that I have mentioned earlier, I do look forward to a continued evolving of Bollywood boldness that will perhaps make small forays into the difficult trails of the human mind and heart even while attempting to frame it all within the amazingly diverse cultural context of the country.