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Namkeen (1982)

 -  Drama | Family
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 214 users  
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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:
Sanjeev Kumar ...
Gerulal
Sharmila Tagore ...
Nimki
...
Mitthu
Kiran Vairale ...
Chinki
...
Jyoti (Jugni)
Ram Mohan
T.P. Jain ...
Dhaniram
Kamaldeep
Bhag Singh
Ranvir
Ashish Chatterji
Baldev Mehta
Yash Sharma
Edit

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)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Drama | Family

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Did You Know?

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

Phir Se Aaiyo Badaraa Bidesee
Music by Rahul Dev Burman
Performed by Asha Bhosle
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User Reviews

 
A Gulzar film with a difference
31 May 2009 | by (India) – See all my reviews

I have watched almost all Gulzar films. Ijaazat, Aandhi, Mausam, Machis, Meera, Kitaab, Koshish, Parichay, Khushboo, Angoor and Kinara - all were nice. Some close to masterpieces, others great work and just a few not-so-good ones. Like 'Mere Apne' wasn't too appealing for me. Lekin, Achanak, Hu Tu Tu and Libaas are those I haven't seen yet. But still there are certain elements that are common in almost all Gulzar films. 1. Stories of longing, unfulfilled love (Ijaazat, Aandhi, Mausam, Machis, Khushboo and Kinara) 2. Screenplays with strategic flash-backs and flash-forwards (Ijaazat, Aandhi, Mausam, Machis, Kitaab and Kinara) 3. Mature, multilayered characters who talk like Gulzar (all of his films) 4. A title that can be interpreted in beautiful ways (Ijaazat, Aandhi, Mausam, Kitaab, Parichay, Khushboo, Angoor, Kinara)

This time it was different. It was again a story of longing, of unfulfilled love. But its screenplay structure is slightly different. It looks more like a Shyam Benegal, Mrinal Sen, Govind Nihalani type of screenplay, with Gulzar's dialogues. It takes its own time to grow, moves slowly and is not as cerebral as his other screenplay structures. Even the plot points are subtle and not dramatic enough.

There is one flashback sequence, coming late in the movie. Otherwise it is a linear narrative.

Characters are mature but not multilayered. They are simple, which is a welcome change from Gulzar. They are poor, caught in the simple troubles of life. For them, everyday bread is a greater concern than falling in love. They are not very educated and although they still 'talk like Gulzar', they are more like themselves.

And the title is based on one of the principal characters.

It is more like an European film. Its drama is like that of a Kieslowski film. It is more like an account of the lives of these people than a complete story with dramatic twists.

It is still great. And it ends in a beautiful and haunting manner. Moving you deeply.

Now, the catch.

I have watched this film just today. And what I come to know is - the DVD version is abridged. The original cut had a dramatic twist in the end. Hence the lack of drama that I talked about in my comment. I read what the original ending was. But I prefer it this way. The DVD version was good enough for me. I doubt the original cut would have appealed me equally.

It is a must watch for Gulzar fans. For those who are new to his cinema, you should first go for Ijaazat, Maachis, Mausam, Aandhi, Kitaab and Koshish.


9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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