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Chaukat Raja was released 1991. Produced by Smita Talwalkar & directed by Sanjay Surkar. Based on family who took a mentally challenged person under their wing & encourage him to develop his skills while they deal with their instabilities.
No doubt about it that movie is inspired from Mel Gibson acted 'What Women Want'. But the story here has a completely different getup and the makeover is done well.
Set in the backdrop of Mumbai chawl locales, the protagonist Shrirang(Sanjay Narvekar), has a good family and a decent job, but is always irritated by the act of women. To top on that, his female chauvinist boss always treats the male workers unfairly. While worshiping a Hindu goddess, Shrirang gets the divine power of reading the minds of women. Realizing slowly this power, at first Shrirang feels more irritated and visits a Psychiatrist. The Psychiatrist also turns out to be a woman, but she tells one plain simple thing to Shrirang. 'It all depends on you whether you want to get irritated by this power or take it as a gift to understand women'. Shrirang chooses the 2nd option and after that his life changes completely as he now better understands the women around him(wife, mother, sister and boss) and makes them feel happy.
What makes the movie different from the original English version, is the subtlety and the local feel given by the director. Where I felt the English movie to be funny, this movie touches the heart. The family setup, daily lifestyle, the past of Mumbai Textile Industry, middle-class issues are very well depicted. There are no harsh realities or brutal truth but plain life of a middle-class family of Mumbai. The music is good but I am not sure how much non Marathi speakers will understand the softness in the music since it's typical Marathi. The poetic and traditional verses have to be understood to get the flow of the song.
After watching this movie, I felt a bit relaxed that amidst situations of adversity there is always opportunity. The opportunity to choose happiness, no matter what state our life is. It's not easy to live, but then it's not that difficult as well. And this theme applies to not only Mumbai life but all places in the world where people are struggling to move ahead. A positive attitude is all what we need.
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