A singer and her two daughters have a tense reunion after years.



(story and screenplay), (dialogue)

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Credited cast:
Rukhsana Jamal
Salim Mirza
Nazneen Jamal
Anwar Jamal
Kamal Choksi
Rekha Rao ...
Palak Jain ...
Young Tehzeeb
Sheena Roy
Savita Malpekar
Pawan Chopra
Vishwas Sohoni
Sachin Shinde
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sanjeeva Vatsa


Rukhsana Jamal and Anwar had been married for several years, and have two daughters, Tehzeeb and Nazeen, from this marriage. Anwar goes through a period of mental instability and depression, which ends in his committing suicide by shooting himself dead. Years later Tehzeeb and Nazeen have both grown up. Tehzeeb has married Salim Mirza, while Nazneen is mentally unstable. Their fairly smooth lifestyle changes abruptly when Tehzeeb finds out that Salim is having an affair with Sheena Roy; and Nazneen comes across a loaded revolver. Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


a daughter breaks the rules...





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Release Date:

21 November 2003 (India)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Dedicated to director Ingmar Bergman. See more »


Rukhsana's sari during Nazo's birthday. See more »


Remake of Autumn Sonata (1978) See more »


I Wanna Be Free
Written by BlaaZe
Composed by A.R. Rahman
Performed by Anupama and Mathangi
Courtesy of Super Cassettes Industries Limited (T-Series)
See more »

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User Reviews

Great film marred by unnecessary and stupid sub-plots
6 July 2009 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

Khalid Mohammed's Tehzeeb is a tribute to Ingmar Bergman's Autumn Sonata, and he officially acknowledges Bergman for being the inspiration for this film. Mohammed is a good director, but his attempts to make an art film and add all the possible ingredients of Hindi commercial cinema trip him a bit up this time. In his wonderful 2000 film Fiza he did the same, but much more delicately, and while Tehzeeb is definitely a good film, he tends to go a bit overboard with all the appearances, subplots and redundant characters. Having said that, Tehzeeb is still a great watch, and due credit goes to Mohammed's fine script and direction, Javed Siddiqui's realistic dialogues, A.R. Rahman's soundtrack which gives life to the movie, and of course the credible acting by the leading actors.

Starting with the flaws, the entire Diana Hayden story could and should have been deleted. What does it have to do with the film and its story? I did not really understand the purpose of her appearance and what actually it was all about. And besides that, she is such a non-actor! Her accent is terrible and she is annoying throughout. The Namrata Shirodkar one was redundant as well, though more bearable because of the nice song and the wonderful scene that follows it (the advice Shabana gave Namrata about the rules of success in showbiz). There were several other instances, like Diya Mirza's ridiculous disco dance. That was apparently a take-off on the exceptional "nervous breakdown" dance numbers of Sridevi and Meenakshi Sheshadri in the films Lamhe and Damini, respectively, but in this film, it's just pathetic.

Now to the film: Shabana Azmi and Urmila Matondkar star as a mother and her daughter (second time after Masoom in 1983. 20 years ago, can you believe it?!). Urmila is Tehzeeb, a young married woman who looks after her mentally ill young sister, and Shabana is Rukhsana Jamal, a popular singer and her estranged mother. Although she does love her mother and misses her, Tehzeeb has always considered her mother the cause of her father's death and her younger sister's (Dia Mirza) mental disability. All of a sudden, Mrs. Jamal calls Tehzeeb to inform her that she is going to visit her. Both women are excited towards the meeting. Here the story actually deepens. The film brilliantly follows and depicts this mother-daughter relationship, its ups and downs, and finally shows how they come to terms with each other.

Quite expectedly, while the film is titled after Urmila's character, it belongs to Shabana Azmi, who is natural, credible and charming as the vivacious and colourful star Rukhsana. It's a pleasure watching her delivering these witty dialogues in her own inimitable style. Urmila, while always a talented and intense performer, tries to do more than required at some scenes. She is too impulsive, and while it's an integral part of her acting and always interesting to watch, I think she should have tried some restraint in this role. Arjun Rampal, playing Tehzeeb's loving and supportive husband Salim, is also the film's narrator, and he succeeds on both accounts. Mohammed rightly tries to give his role as much substance as possible, and Rampal performs exceedingly well; he plays Salim with utmost sincerity and humour and makes him thoroughly likable and entertaining. Dia Mirza is cute and effective as the mentally disabled and love-seeking Nazo.

Tehzeeb is aided by a great technical crew and is excellent in cinematography, editing and particularly music. A.R. Rahman scores once again with a terrific background score and equally great songs, among which I especially loved "Na Shiqwa Hota", a soulful number which efficiently summarises the mother-daughter relationship on-screen. Mohammed wonderfully portrays the lifestyle of modern Muslim families, and this is yet another factor which warrants a fascinating watch. The film's ending is unexpected and surprising. Some may like it, some may not. I was disappointed by it, but it's actually what makes Hindi movies so unique and special, no? Tehzeeb is not without its flaws, but after all I still think it is an interesting and moving film and an altogether worthy effort. I recommend.

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