Friday, December 24, 2010

Isi Life Mein 

Slow Coach Ahead

Rajshri Productions films exist in their own sugar-coated world with old-style values (somebody is always talking of sanskar) and a kind of innocence that doesn’t even exist in villages any more.

After Sooraj Kumar Barjatya started making films, their films have pretty much followed a template; it’s only with Vidhi Kasliwal’s Isi Life Mein that a film from the Rajshri stable has got on a slow coach to progress.

From Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, where a young woman is expected to sacrifice her happiness for the sake of her family’s wishes,  to Vivaah where the girl is dumb and bovine, at least in Isi Life Mein, the family (read father) recognizes that a girl can have her own ambitions.  What is disappointing about the film—and one directed by a young woman at that—is that the girl is completely passive.

Rajnandini (Sandeepa Dhar), a bright girl from a rich, conservative Ajmer family tops the class in school, but is okay with the idea of giving up her education to get married. Her mother (Prachi Shah)  encourages her to go to Mumbai to study further, even it involves lying to the stern father (Mohnish Bahl).

She joins a city college and is encouraged to sign up for a drama club run by Vivaan (Akshay Oberoi). A lot of time and footage is wasted over their tomfoolery.  Then she is cast as Kate in a production of Taming of the Shrew.

Vivaan tries to ‘citify’ Rajnandini,  her fuming father drags her back to be married.  Her college gang lands up there, and are frowned upon for being unsuitably dressed.  There is a dowry crisis—the so-called modern kids chip in while the traditional people let the family down.

Strange that the ‘modern’ young people do not protest against the practice of dowry, but contribute to it.  The girl is blissfully clueless – others take decisions for her, good or bad.  The kind of quasi progressiveness the film puts forward, has now been appropriated by television, so the film is like watching a TV serial on big screen.
The young lead pair does not get to do much by way of performance, so it is hard to tell if they have the talent to build a career.  (Akshay Oberoi is made to take his shirt off and show off his six-pack, which is now mandatory.)  The music is forgettable too.  Maybe a change of formula is in order.


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