Dhaniram brings a trucker named Gerulal to Jugni's house so that he can rent a room. Jugni lives in dilapidated house with three young daughters, all of whom are of marriage age. The eldest... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Gerulal
...
Nimki
...
Mitthu
Kiran Vairale ...
Chinki
...
Jyoti (Jugni)
Ram Mohan
T.P. Jain ...
Dhaniram
Kamaldeep
Bhag Singh
Ranvir
Ashish Chatterji
Baldev Mehta
Yash Sharma
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Storyline

Dhaniram brings a trucker named Gerulal to Jugni's house so that he can rent a room. Jugni lives in dilapidated house with three young daughters, all of whom are of marriage age. The eldest is Mimki, followed by Mithu, and Chinki. Her husband is an alcoholic and wayward, and comes home every few weeks. Jugni past was sordid and involved dancing in a brothel. Jugni and her daughters labor for a living. Gerulal gets settled in, and becomes part of this family. Then when he gets news of his maternal grandmother's passing, he leaves and does not return for several months. When he returns, nothing and no one is the same anymore. Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

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Drama | Family

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Trivia

Rekha was the first choice for the role of Namki, which was played eventually by Sharmila Tagore. Waheeda Rehman was allegedly not very happy with this change, since she now had to play mother to one of her contemporaries. See more »

Soundtracks

Aisaa Lagaa Koee Suramaa Nazar Maa
Music by Rahul Dev Burman
Performed by Alka Yagnik
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User Reviews

Characters of Flavour
4 July 2010 | by (Fraggle Rock) – See all my reviews

Ah, Gulzar! The poet and the filmmaker, above all, an artiste in the truest sense. What sets 'Namkeen' apart from his other works is that this one has a more Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Shyam Benegal feel to it rather than the Gulzar signature. It is one of his lesser known films. 'Namkeen' too is a story of unfulfilled love (like 'Ijaazat', 'Aandhi' and 'Mausam') but here the story is given a more slice of life treatment, a glimpse into the characters' life, rather than having it 'follow a plot'.

'Namkeen' has a lyrical feel to it (a common factor in Gulzar's movies) and the landscape (I'm assuming it's in Darjeeling) is breathtaking. The characters are easy to relate to and endearing. There are only about two or three songs but they are beautifully visualized and the lyrics are mesmerizing.

Gulzar beautifully displays Jyoti and her three daughters' struggle to get by every day. These are poor people and their daily concern is winning bread and other necessary requirements such as oil. They don't have time to fall in love but that doesn't mean that they don't have dreams. A voiceless Mitthu expresses her words in poetry while the youngest Chimki is a vivacious spirit. Nimki is the eldest one who keeps the family together as she takes care of all the household activities and makes sure that all the requirements are met while the hardworking mother, Jyoti, is at work all day. Gerulal brings a pleasant change to their lives.

Sanjeev Kumar, once again, plays a part only he could do justice to. Waheeda Rehman is barely recognizable. Not only does she look different but even her voice is distinct from what we're familiar with. She's clearly a master of her craft. The same can be said of Sharmila Tagore and Shabana Azmi who are nothing short of remarkable. Kiran Vairale is vivacious as the lively young Chimki.

'Namkeen' is one of Gulzar's most underrated works and it is a treat to watch. Thanks to Gulzar for giving us a glimpse of the lives of these colourful characters.


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