ApunKaChoice : Bollywood


Ahista AhistaAhista Ahista : Review
18th Aug 2006  21.45 IST
By N. K. Deoshi  

Ahista Ahista is a film that doesn't conform to the Bollywood stereotype of romantic movies with perpetual doses of melodrama and mush. It is a light-hearted, slow-paced, contemplative movie that strikes a chord gently.

The movie's story, its characters, the dialogues they speak, have a realism seldom seen in big-budgeted magnum opuses from our much vaunted film industry.

The film, directorial debut of Shivam Nair (who has worked as director and editor in TV serials), has no big stars to boast of. It neither has any exotic locations against which the hero and heroine go dancing to their hearts' content. It rather has a relative newcomer Abhay Deol and gorgeous Soha Ali Khan in very non-filmi, realistic roles. It has old Delhi - Jama Masjid, Lal Quila and Nizamuddin Dargah - making for a plausible backdrop against which the story of the two leading characters unfolds.

Ankush (Abhay Deol) somehow makes ends meet by working as a witness in the marriage registrar bureau in Delhi. Megha (Soha Ali Khan) has run away from her home in Nainital to marry her lover Dheeraj ( Shyan Munshi ) in Delhi. But she is ditched. Dheeraj doesn't turn up for the marriage. Megha is left in the lurch with nowhere to go in an alien city.

Ankush comes to Megha's rescue. Although he himself is in no favorable position to help her, he gives her moral support, helps her spend a few nights at different places before finding a job for her in an old age home. Going beyond his pocket, Ankush takes a loan for Megha.

Slowly and slowly, as the movie's title goes, Ankush and Megha begin to complement each other, without being conscious of it. In a way, Megha inspires Ankush to become a better man, make a decent living. Ankush, on the other hand, helps Megha forget her bitter past and look forward to a new life.

There are a few moments when the sparks of their unexpressed emotions shine through. There are moments when the two make hesitant advances, but retreat. This restraint by the characters in the story actually adds to its emotive appeal.

Just when the relationship between Megha and Ankush seem headed for its expected culmination, the movie throws a surprise.

Dheeraj, Megha's runaway lover, returns, repentant and determined to win back her love. Dheeraj's return creates turbulence in Megha's heart. She is torn between the two men. Ankush sees his world begin to fall to pieces, ahista ahista.

The film is not one of those romantic movies that attempt to overwhelm you with emotions. The dramatic portions in the movie are discreetly underplayed and the humour, cautiously restrained. There is no grandeur or opulence of a larger-than-life love story in Ahista Ahista. It is for this very reason the film will appeal to selected audience only.

Shivam Nair makes an impressive Bollywood debut with a movie that gives precedence to a good story over commercial considerations. The protagonists in the movie are not glamorized at all. They seem like ordinary people from real life. The film's story, its progress, the situational turns and, above all, the movie's unexpected end, too, are quite credible. After all, life is not fair sometimes.

Abhay Deol suits well the character of the polite, down-to-earth Ankush. There is a strange mix of vulnerability and rarely expressed self-confidence to Abhay's personality that goes very well with the character he plays in the film. Considering his similar role in his debut film ( Socha Na Tha ) it seems such parts are tailor-made for Abhay.

After Rang De Basanti , we see Soha Ali Khan in a non-glamorous role once again. Not only does she look gorgeous throughout the movie, she shows moments of good acting too. She brings a remarkable lack of confidence in her character in the initial reels of the film. Her Megha is indeed a small-town girl not so open in expressing herself. However, she transforms as the movie progresses. Her performance at the movie's end is particularly noteworthy.

Shyan Munshi has a small role in the film and he carries it with natural ease.

Ahista Ahista is an unconventional love story by Bollywood standard. The film doesn't stir you. Gently and gradually, it strikes a chord.

Ahista Ahista
Abhay Deol
Soha Ali Khan
Shyan Munshi
Socha Na Tha
Rang De Basanti

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