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Its not a story about Naxalites, but about a mother whose son happens to be one., 15 December 2005

Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa(HCKM) is an extremely competent rendition of the book by the same name by Mahasweta Devi. She must have been really proud of her own work after watching the film. Its a sensitive portrayal of a mother's feelings... and how they starkly differ from a father's. I don't want to write a spoiler here and reveal the story... Jaya Bhaduri ( as I still like to call her) is one of our finest actors, I just wish she had done more movies. She is a natural... she brings out emotions... that almost bring a chill to your spine coz they are so real and you know you have felt like that too... like she does... but in such private moments that you wonder how she ever thought of portraying them.

Govind Nihalini is an amazing director. I coincidentally bought two dvds of his together. "Drishti" which has Dimple Kapadia and Shekhar Kapur ( thankfully he does not have such a major role, in front of Dimple he pales... almost vanishes...!) and HCKM. Drishti is not a perfect movie, but still has some very memorable moments... and its made on a subject that very few Indian film-makers manage to portray well... about extra-marital love and divorce. Drishti is a must watch... but not one of his greatest movies... Hazaar CKM... is a perfect movie in every respect. Jaya, by the end of this movie is this enormously tall person in your mind... what she does nobody else can do.

HCKM introduced Nandita Das... she has a smallish role but a significant one. She is Jaya's son's lover - there are scenes between these two women that are indescribably soft and vulnerable. You almost want to shut your eyes... coz the emotions are so raw...

Please go and get the DVD/cd of this movie, better still buy it... don't hire it. One watch is not enough. You would want to watch it again and again. I just hope someone has the good sense to bring out all our great movies on DVD... esp the offbeat movies that didn't do so well in theatres. Is someone listening...?? India has a discerning audience too!! Ambika.

13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
The film is about a young Muslim boy in Bombay. He is uneducated so driven to the life of crime., 28 November 2005

The DVD of this film has just been released in India. I wish the film was re-released in the theaters. The film and the character of Pavan Malhotra(Salim) grows on you. By the time you reach the middle of the movie, almost everything that Salim feels you feel it with him.

The film explores the psyche of the minority community in a city/country. Salim is uneducated, his father could only afford to educate his eldest son, who dies of a shock while working as an electrician. Salim, the younger son is uneducated so falls into bad company and is almost on the verge of getting integrated into the Bombay underworld. Some events make him realise that he must change and earn an honest living... his quest to earn clean, white money is poignant. He is so enmeshed in this bad world that getting out of it is going to be difficult. His pain becomes almost palpable.

Beautifully made... I wish more of these came out on DVDs. We mistakenly say that Indians make no movies without song and dance, and films on serious issues. We make them, they just don't become as famous for lack of big heroes in them.

I hope to see "Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Aata Hai" released on DVD soon!

Masoom (1983)
6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Man discovers he has a son from a girl he once met. Boy's mother dies. Its about how the boy creates turmoil in the man's familial life and how its finally resolved., 11 February 2005

Probably one of the most sensitive films ever made in India. Its sensibility is very contemporary and unaffected by "Bollywood". The performances are surprisingly real and one can easily relate to them. Naseer plays the role of DK beautifully, I feel its his most sensitive performance till date. DK is a very real character, he is a man who is not ashamed to cry. Its very apparent he loves his wife a lot, but the emotion he shows for Supriya Pathak, (the woman he met during the school reunion, from whom he has a son but did not know till now)is also very real, very real and honest. Even though it has the feel of a one night stand, and even DK himself would rather believe and tell his wife that, but its pretty clear he liked her when he met her and felt genuine emotion for the girl. Bhavna (Supriya Pathak) decides to bring up the child alone and not tell DK about it because she knows that he has a family of his own.

DK is a very rare character in an Indian film, men in Indian films are not sensitive like him, they don't break down while talking to their wives, they don't show helplessness. DK is so humane that its difficult for him to not touch and affect you in some way. Personally, the character that Shabana Azmi, Indu – DK's wife, does not move me too much. Its probably true that her character gets to grow only towards the end when her love for Bhavna's boy(Rahul) begins to overpower her hatred for the act that her husband had committed years ago. Her hurt also comes from the fact that when DK had this affair with Bhavna she was expecting their first child.

Indu is not shown to have any extraordinary characteristics in the beginning. She is just jealous of Rahul's mother and feels disgust for the deeds of her husband. Any one would feel like that. Her character gets some respite when she begins to see the boy Rahul for what he truly is – his mother is dead and he does not know who his father is – he is truly alone and orphaned. Its love and sympathy for him that raises Indu above the normal jealous, hurt wife. She is a mother of two girls herself, she cannot help but feel motherly love for this boy who is sweet, nice natured and so lonely.

The kids also act very well, Jugal Hansraj is wonderful as Rahul. The film wins in the end it seems because of him… you feel so much for this boy. It wins also because of DK (Naseer) and his surprisingly natural love for his lost, so far unknown son. He feels pride when Rahul plays a good ball of cricket… and it surprises him. Just goes to show that feelings of love are not conditioned, developed, they just "are". Indu's feelings for the boy can be seen almost visually growing… and that is a beautiful thing. She is the one who gets him back home in the end.

A must watch for anyone who loves Naseer and Gulzar. It's a film that doesn't disappoint. I have it on DVD and watch it again and again and again!!