ApunKaChoice : Bollywood


Amol PalekarPaheli is a must watch!
25th June 2005  00.20 IST
By Nitika Desai  

Paheli is an enchanting riddle about a woman who longs for love of her husband. It is also the story of a ghost who reciprocates her love by assuming the form (in flesh and blood) of her husband.

Amol Palekar has adopted a simple and thought provoking folktale onto celluloid for the unforgettable cinematic experience called Paheli .

Starring Shah Rukh Khan , Rani Mukherjee in main roles, the movie also has Sunil Shetty , Juhi Chawla , Amitabh Bachchan and Anupam Kher in marginal appearances.

The film has Rani playing a dreamy-eyed, giggly, beautiful girl Lachchi. She is married to Kishenlal (Shah Rukh), who is a full-blooded baniya. In her heart, the nubile girl longs for the love of her husband, but he seems married to his bahi khata (accounts) instead.

In the beginning of the movie we are also introduced to a ghost, a wandering spirit who assumes the shapes of different living creatures (like squirrels, crows, singing birds, humans etc.) at will.

On the very next day after marriage, Kishenlal leaves his village for a business that would take him years. Lachchi is left alone pining for love.

It is then the wandering spirit takes the form of her husband and reciprocates her emotions. 'Ghost' Kishenlal (Shahrukh) has the qualities that Lachchi longs for in a husband. He is a sensitive lover, a prankster, a magician and much more.

Years pass before the real Kishenlal returns home to bewilder everyone. Lachchi, her in-laws and the entire village is stunned at seeing two Kishenlals. Unable to find a way out of this predicament, the villagers decide to take the king's counsel. But on their way, they meet an eccentric shepherd (Amitabh Bachchan) who solves the paheli with his almost Zen-like wisdom.

Paheli is no love epic, nor is it a hollow harangue on morality or women's right. However, the movie does raise a few pertinent questions as to whether a woman has the right to decide about her own life and spouse.

The movie doesn't blare out its message. But it says it in subdued tones, saying it without speaking, thereby creating enough gaps to involve the viewer to make the story work. That is why Paheli is a piece of excellent cinema and a must-watch for any admirer of good movies.

Amol Palekar
Shah Rukh Khan
Rani Mukherjee
Sunil Shetty
Juhi Chawla
Amitabh Bachchan
Anupam Kher

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