A car brushed by me one day, and promptly received a slew of very chaste words. It was unintentional, almost like a knee jerk reaction to me. Maybe the driver was in a hurry, maybe he had an emergency to tend to; I’ll never know. I was too busy thinking about myself to care about the reasons. 

In this millennia of platitudes and false virtues, it’s hard to find or even justify in most cases – the act of forgiveness. Every scripture and religious dogma speaks about it. Not only the greatest, but perhaps it’s reverence stems from the fact that it’s exceptionally difficult to offer true forgiveness. This is not a lecture about all that is wrong with the world but about what is right, and this is exactly what Aamir Khan’s Rubaru Roshni makes you think about. There’s loss and then there’s suffering, but some people choose to rise above such emotions, however fair it might seem to us. This is about them – about the grieving; the suffering. 

The documentary runs in three parts, tracing some horrific events that happened in the past three decades. Some stories might even be intensely personal to you. The documentary has a well put together plot, derived from life. The narration is exempt from the usual Bollywood masala, but relies on real life accounts from the central character to evoke a feeling of intense realism. The greatest strength of the narration comes in the form of pathos – in areas you never imagined it would awake. However, the pathos doesn’t come from places of manipulation, but through your own intellect and understanding of the depth of the issues mentioned. It’s a detoxifying experience to know that humans are capable of such intense catharsis and beyond. 

The music score is soft and emotional. It is never too much to bear, but just expressive enough to stay in the background but still leave its mark. The focus is on the unscripted dialogues and expressions of the Characters are very well emphasised, with no attempt made to sensationalize. The dialogues and not scripted and are candid and you can hear the tremble in their words. The rawness and palpability of the emotions is very incredibly portrayed. Coming to the cinematography, it is simply amazing. Every shot is taken with immaculate precision, with its focus being on the speaker alone. Certain shots such as the one with the legendary Marine Drive in the distant foreground are just breathtaking. Photos and articles and intricately sprinkled throughout. It never feels like a stretch to watch, something which people often complain about when watching documentaries. However, it doesn’t feel like a movie either, in the sense that it’s real. But it’s also pleasant in places, like a warm cup of coffee that slowly hits your senses.

Rubaru Roshni does not boast of a star studded ensemble of the best actors. Svati Chakravarty Bhatkal has done such a brilliant job of bringing us this raw and emotional story, in all its directorial glory. Aamir Khan’s Narration also hits the right places.

All in all, a must watch for everyone looking to watch something real and powerful.

We give it 4 chirps.


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