Monday, September 15, 2008


Rating : 7/10
Running Time : 171 Minutes
Release Date : August ‘90
Director & co-writer : Govind Nihalani Writer : Shashi Deshpande ; Music : Kishori Amonkar
Starring : Dimple Kapadia, Shekhar Kapur, Irfan Khan, Mita Vasisht and Vijay Kashyap

Some very frank and realistic conversations about men, women, why they cant be just friends (possibly inspired by 'When Harry Met Sally'), affairs, break-ups and reconciliation of sorts amongst very middle class Mumbai households. And above all, if all else fails, there is the simmering sensuality of Dimple Kapadia, as the camera caresses her, delves into her eyes and conveys a thousand emotions softly and subtly. You dont care that its inspired by Ingmar Bergman's 'Scenes from a Marriage'

The movie is about Shekhar Kapur and his wife Dimple. They have a good marriage, especially if you compare it to the one their close friends (Mita Vasisht and Vijay Kashyap) have where wedlock has deteriorated into a mélange of sarcastic barbs, excuses and assorted incidents. Shekhar and Dimple have a eight year old daughter and their life seems fairly idyllic with lots of love between them, respect for each other and some realistic display of affection between them. However, both have affairs. Dimple has one with a budding classical musician (a youthful Irfan), it last only for a brief while but brings spice into her life, makes her radiant and as she confides in her friend, makes her feel alive and wanted once more.

Shekhar’s affair, with his lab assistant is far more disruptive. He walks in on an unsuspecting Dimple, coldly informs her that he’s having an affair, cant live with her anymore and walks off, separating with immediate effect. The rest of the movie is about how they both cope with life and move on, shown only in the form of conversations and meetings between Dimple and Shekhar.

Dimple was truly amazing in the film, very credible, able to translate her feelings beautifully in front of the camera. In fact, if you didn’t know better, you would almost accuse the camera of having an affair with her. And she could teach the yound actresses of today a thing or two about how to emanate sensuality without revealing any flesh. Shekhar is understated as you would expect, mono-syllabic in parts, not truly revealing whats going on in his mind, the balanced one till the affair unbalances him.

There are some lovely touches of middle class existence, things like the suitcases on top of the Godrej cupboards, the Premier Padmini, the small dining tables, the ethnic, tasteful yet inexpensive furniture. The music, by Kishori Amonkar, is haunting in parts and ok in others

The movie has several messages. About how affairs can ruin marriages and result in happiness to no one. How, if done discretely, they can rejuvenate you. How it may be better to break a marriage (the type like their friends have) than live in an almost claustrophobic, stifling relationship on an everyday basis. And how, sometimes, it may make sense to have a clean break and that may even be better for the kids. Probably better to watch this one vs the trip to the marriage counselor.

1 comment:

TNL said...

I CANNOT find this movie anywhere.....I'd love to watch this one, Dimple is a childhood favorite.