ApunKaChoice : Bollywood


Ravi ChopraBaabul : Movie Review
08th Dec 2006  23.00 IST
By Aparajita Ghosh  

Even a regressive subject can have its appeal if presented in the right way. Ravi Chopra does just that in his latest movie Babul , which is the story of a man going against traditions to help his widowed daughter-in-law find a new life.

The film is a wholesome package with an entertaining first half and an emotionally moving second half. Thankfully, the movie, for its most part, steers clear of soppy melodrama without compromising the emotive quotient. And the high point is its climax, which is swift and to the point.

'Baabul' is based on a very pertinent theme. A woman emotionally torn apart after the death of her loving husband is shown the hope of a new life by her father-in-law. The movie questions the traditions following which people turn their backs to life. In that sense, 'Baabul' is a pro-life film.

Amitabh Bachchan plays Balraj, a rich businessman, a loving husband and a friendly father. He, his wife Shobhna ( Hema Malini ) and their son Avinash ( Salman Khan ) make a picture perfect family.

Avinash falls in love with Mili ( Rani Mukherjee ), a painter. The two get married and are blessed with a son named Ansh.

Tragedy strikes when Avinash is killed in an accident. Mili is left devastated and utterly alone. While Balraj and Shobhna find a little solace in their grandchild, the pain of losing Avinash is too strong for Mili to bear.

Seeing her in pain, Balraj decides to bring colours back into her life. He approaches Mili's friend Rajat ( John Abraham ) who has always loved her but never expressed his feelings. A musician settled in Europe, Rajat is willing to marry Mili.

But this decision of Balraj meets with a strong opposition from his own from the family. His wife doesn't approve of this decision. And the stiffest resistance comes from Balraj's elder brother Balwant ( Om Puri ), who holds age-old traditions above everything else.

Will Balraj be able to get Mili remarried? The movie's conclusion will certainly leave you with moist eyes.

'Baabul' rests on the strong and dependable shoulders of acting giants like Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukherjee. And none of the two disappoint. Mr. Bachchan is simply superlative in his finely nuanced performance. He makes it so easy for the viewers to empathize with the dilemma of his character. He is particularly compelling in the sequence when he talks to his dead son while gazing at the stars in the night sky.

Rani Mukherjee is deft at expressing emotions. Like a chameleon she transforms the image of a vivacious and happy woman in the first half to the mourning and lovelorn widow in the latter reels. Particularly heart wrenching is the scene in which she dances with Salman's pullover in the rain before crying out uncontrollable tears.

Hema Malini has relatively lesser footage in the film but she cuts a perfect image of grace and tenderness. Salman Khan exudes natural warmth whenever he comes into a scene. On the other hand, John Abraham is ill at ease for most of his part. His two scenes with Salman are poorly enacted. Om Puri is emphatic but over-the-top at times.

Ravi Chopra deserves credit for making a film that effectually tugs at your heart. He brings a notable contrast in the two halves of the film. The first half is funny and the second is sombre. The costumes and sets are colourful in the first half. But they turn pale in the second. Even the cinematography has been used to the desired effect.

Although the movie seems to become a little heavy on sentimentality at times, the conclusion of the story more than compensates for such glitches.

'Baabul' will definitely appeal to the family crowds. Even the young 'Dhoom generation' can find the movie eminently watchable.


Ravi Chopra
Amitabh Bachchan
Hema Malini
Salman Khan
Rani Mukherjee
John Abraham
Om Puri

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