Which relationship hasn’t suffered the wretched communication gap in today’s technologically complex world? Within this still developing economy, embedded with thousands of cultures, tangled in millions of emotions and successes largely being dependent on actions which are influenced by all of the above, the generation/ communication gap has become a part and parcel of our lives.
“Rajma Chawal” is a poignant story of a despondent father trying to reach out and bridge the generation gap with his growing son in this age of technology, which is too advanced for him to understand.
The movie is a series of “ Awww!” moments with the perfect spice of drama coupled with comedy along with a hint of romance.
It speaks to our generation, convincing us to value our family, friends, those who are close to us and those who may not be physically present with us while climbing the ladder of success but not letting these emotions affect our ascendence. Overall the movie hits a number of prevalent family issues which could be why it was screened at the 20th Mumbai Film Festival.
Let us start with a projection of the plot:
Raj Mathur (Rishi Kapoor) is an old school, emotion suppressing father of Kabir Mathur (Anirudh Tanwar) and is distanced from his son due to the death of his wife. Kabir evades every opportunity to converse with his father ever since they moved from New Delhi to Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi. He has an emotional attachment to the house in which his mother lived, an emotion that he does not expect his father to ever understand.
Feeling the void, his father, with the help of his friends, sets up a Facebook profile with a girl’s name (Tara) in order to talk to his son and help him out of the difficult phase he was going through. They even uploads pictures of a girl who previously had a Facebook profile. Eventually, Kabir warms up to his father by taking the virtual Tara’s advice.
The plot twists when the Kabir sees the real Tara a.k.a Seher while performing a gig at a pub. Things go downhill because Seher’s life is completely different from Kabir’s. She works at a salon and even has a rich boyfriend – Baljeet Singh Chautala (Aparshakti Khurana). In fact she has a whole different backstory to her life.
So does she agree to participate in reconnecting a lonesome man with his growing son? What does Raj Mathur do to help the situation? Most of all, will Raj Mathur’s secrets remain a secret forever?
I guess you have to find out when you watch the movie.
However a few critical points are:
- Dialogues: Sheer laughter oozes out of the dialogues throughout the movie. All though there are a few dialogues that could make one cringe like- “Aaj agar kiss nahi kiya na, toh zindagi bhar ghilaste rahenge”. However, these can be overlooked considering the dialogue delivery of the actors.
- Screenplay: The overall story is convincing but it ends up as a plot with easily discoverable loopholes. The screenplay in terms of sequencing of scenes is also a questionable aspect. For instance, in the beginning of the movie, Kabir is seen eating Rajma Chawal with a spoon which is frowned upon by the other members of the household since they believe that the true essence lies in eating it with bare hands. Maybe, the movie could have been ended with Kabir thoroughly enjoying eating Rajma Chawal with his hands, thus completing a loop. As expected, this does happen in the movie but again there is a whole chunk of story it.
- Performances: Rishi Kapoor as Raj Mathur is the binding glue of the entire movie. Anirudh Tanwar’s playing Kabir is not very convincing but Amyra Dastur as Tara/Seher does bring some reassurance to the audience.The supporting cast consisting of Mukesh Chabbra, Raja Hassan, Sheeba Chaddha, Nirmal Rishi and other have done a terrific job in the movie. In a special mention, Aparshakti Khurana as Baljeet shines in his role of a spoilt Delhi brat.
- Cinematography: Even though the songs in the movie are not that engaging, certain shots in the movie are very thoughtful and captivating at the same time. The opening shot of walking through the empty house with the camera facing and leading the actor and the picture of the band practicing on a rooftop as the golden sun sets to become a blend of orange and amber is commendable. Another great scene is the recovery of Kabir depicted as he is walking in the cramped lanes of Chandni Chowk which is ornamented with shops on both sides serving jalebi and lassi, shops selling dupattas and bangles in bright red, orange and green, little girls playing in their uniforms by jumping in a puddle of water, his relatives, all decked up and dancing, at a far distance from their everyday worries. The closing shots of Kabir standing amidst pigeons are also shot from a beautiful frame.
In conclusion, there are a lot of life lessons that we learn from the movie which are hidden in a few smartly worded dialogues.
I would rate the movie with 2.5 chirps. Rajma Chawal is an enjoyable Netflix movie,packed with entertainment which can soothe that homesick feeling that pounces on you on lazy late afternoons!
Do comment and let us know what you thought about Rajma Chawal.