This movie was billed as a true story when it came out. Even though it is still a masala Bollywood movie, it has some striking resemblences to the life story of the leading ladies and the hero, Amitabh Bachan. In real life Amitabh had an affair with Rekha while married to Jaya Bhaduri. The movie version follows the same script, except adds many secondary characters, such as Sanjeev Kumar as Rekha's husband. Jaya Bhaduri gives a passable performance, while Rekha and Amitabh both overact. There are a lot of unnecessary fantasy sequences shot in the Tulip farms in Holland , which have no relevance to the rest of the movie. Camera work leaves a lot to be desired. In spite of all this, this movie remains interesting because it dared to treat the theme of extramarital romance when such topics were taboo in Bollywood
25. Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa (1998) - Directed by Govind Nihalani
Govind Nihalani's "Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa" served as the opening film of a festival dedicated to Indian films held here recently.As such kind of film event is a rare occasion in our country, so is the film a rare gem.
Given its material (which was adapted from a novel by Mahaswati Deva), the film has the potential of becoming overtly political (like Constantin Costa-Gavras' "Z") or expressly melodramatic (like Regis Wargnier's "Indochine").But it is a fine attribute of the film that it provides just enough background for the viewers to become acquainted with the intense sociopolitical events in India (particularly in West Bengal) in the 1970s---a radical outlawed movement, the "Naxalbari," proves to be major headache for the established leadership---and keeps finely checked and nuanced the thoughts and feelings of the characters that the result is a quietly powerful and moving drama of loss, alienation and enlightenment.
The brutal murder of a radical and forward-thinking son causes for the mother to embark on a journey of self-examination and -discovery---asking questions as to the circumstances that led to her son's untimely death, what made her overlook and take for granted her son's "secret" activities, and seeing in her own family the very things her son had rebelled against (complacent, hypocritical, reactionary and bourgeois attitudes and values in modern society).
The film proceeds on a slow and reflective pace so as to be proper to its conversational approach, which is of such a length that the characters gradually open their minds and hearts to the viewers regarding the lamentable family loss and the state of their society in general. Take careful notice of the scene where the mother visits her son's girlfriend, who is also a member of the movement and where mother and son "meet" one another for the last time.
To be distinguished too are the stunning performances, specially those provided by the actors who played the beleaguered mother, the loving aunt and the ill-fated son.
If you have the opportunity, don't miss "Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa."
26.Fiza (2000) - Directed by - Khalid Mohamed
R 7.1/10 (93 votes).
Summary: An intriguing film - Spoilers
mild spoilers When I first watched this film, it really was the most intriguing Indian film I'd ever seen - simply because I couldn't work out just what kind of film it was meant to be, overall! It seemed to be several different things all at once - and I don't mean in any superficial way, the way in which many Indian films mingle together elements of comedy, romance, action, and so on. I mean in a more fundamental sense - that the film is really pulling in different directions. And I was bamboozled cos I couldn't work out whether it was primarily a family drama, or a kind of character study of Fiza (showing how she perseveres through all manner of adversity and all) or a political/terrorist film -of which there have been a fair crop in mainstream Indian cinema in the last decade, with the usual sombre message about corrupt politicians (and plenty of action too, of course). But I think I've worked it out now - it is basically a melodrama about the rotten state of Indian politics. However, vying against this political/adventure narrative is a family drama. Maybe these two things could've worked together WITHOUT being melodramatized (like in the generally exemplary, earlier film 'Garam Hava', which also revolves around a Muslim family caught up in sectarian troubles).
The story's called 'Fiza' but her mother and brother are given equal prominence throughout. But I suppose it's called 'Fiza' because she is the only surviving member of the family left at the end, and also it's her actions that drive a lot of the film (mainly of course her absolutely single-minded search for her brother). However the best scene by far involves not Fiza but her brother. It's funny because this scene features the kind of situation that you normally puke at in an Indian film - namely the old story about true lovers being separated and all that stuff. In this case Shahnaz and Amun - she having been unable to wait for him while he was missing and all, so that she got hitched to another. It's the scene when he runs unexpectedly into her at the doctor's - she's gone there to confirm her pregnancy and all and of course that makes him feel even more left out. But this scene is so beautifully played - it's muted but there's an undercurrent of quiet but overwhelming regret which is worthy of the likes of Chekov and stunningly out of place in a mainstream Indian film. They're both of them so regretful (without being bitter) and her hubby's just a nice ordinary young man who obviously wouldn't be able to understand how they're feeling and all. How easily all this could've spilled over into sentimentality - but it just doesn't. And it's after this that Amun feels really like he's got no place in the world at all - he's got nothing to offer anyone, and THAT'S why he goes back to the terrorist leader - simply because he's got literally no other place to go. So he returns to terrorism out of sheer hopelessness and feelings of self-worthlessness. This is really incredibly effective and hard-hitting and poignant. Of course later on he just becomes a mouthpiece of rebellion and stuff against crooked politicians, a martyr, and all that stuff. But when he returns to the terrorists at THIS stage, he's not actuated by any clear-cut motive at all, far less any ideology or noble sentiment - he's just confused and full of despair. This is what carries the film for me.
The acting is generally quite good - the family and the feisty neighbour and Shahnaz. But the dialogue isn't all that great and the script is pretty awful at times. Overall though this is worthwhile.
As for the dialogue, some things stand out - Fiza's rancour near the beginning about her father - 'he died and left us to rot' - such a stark way of putting it, so unlike the usual sanctimonious view of parents, especially dead parents, in mainstream Indian film. Also 'pondhu' translating as 'moron' - hilarious!!