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How The Pandemic Opened The Door for Me to 1981’s Baseraa, Certainly one of The Most Poignant Movies I Have Watched


Edited By: Pathikrit Sen Gupta

Final Up to date: January 24, 2023, 09:00 IST

The film received five nominations at the 29th Filmfare Awards. Image/Twitter

The movie obtained 5 nominations on the twenty ninth Filmfare Awards. Picture/Twitter

The movie, starring Shashi Kapoor, Rakhee, and Rekha in lead roles, was primarily based on a Marathi novel by Leela Phansalkar, and was directed by Ramesh Talwar

The pandemic gave me an dependancy, not a really dangerous one hopefully. To both ease the isolation pangs or recreate the acquainted childhood consolation of watching movies on tv, I began binge-watching previous motion pictures on YouTube. Many Eighties movies have been simply weird with excessive misogynist themes, however I stoically sat by means of them (therefore the time period ‘dependancy’). Nevertheless, I found many gems too, and Baseraa is one among them.

The movie, starring Shashi Kapoor, Rakhee, and Rekha in lead roles, launched in 1981. Based mostly on a Marathi novel by Leela Phansalkar, it was directed by Ramesh Talwar. I’ve watched it twice now, and it makes me tear up each time (spoilers forward). There’s a scene through which Sharada (Rakhee) breaks down after her husband (Shashi Kapoor taking part in Balraj Kohli) snaps at her for her insistence on bodily affection. She asks him: “Kya essential apni marzi se pagal hui thi?”

If you wipe the visceral feelings clear and put your analytical hat on, you realise that the movie not solely works due to the sentiments Sharada’s sacrifice evokes but additionally because of the truth that it poses an ethical conundrum for the viewer. Was Nimma (Rekha) proper in marrying Balraj? Did Balraj make the precise determination? Ought to he have waited for his spouse?

The movie opens with a scene that exhibits a superbly completely satisfied household. Shashi Kapoor is a rich businessman and has a loving spouse and two sons. The elder son Raj Kiran too has discovered his girl love (Poonam Dhillon) and they’re going to tie the knot quickly. Nevertheless, the viewer quickly involves know that Nimma is Balraj’s second spouse. His first spouse and mom of his first son, Sharada, is locked up in a psychological establishment due to the immense shock she suffers after seeing her sister (Nimma) in a widow’s garb. Nimma loses her husband in an accident quickly after her wedding ceremony.

Every little thing turns topsy-turvy after Sharada’s physician declares after 14 years that she might need an opportunity at restoration. He means that she ought to begin dwelling along with her household, however issues should return to how the affected person had left them. Thus, we see Rekha turning her world the wrong way up — she hides her son, removes all indicators of their marriage from the home, and sleeps in one other room to make means for her sister. You can’t assist however really feel for Rekha in these scenes, particularly when she can not bear the separation from her son and husband.

However Sharada’s story arc is what tugs at your coronary heart. She comes again to her household after a 14-year keep at an asylum to solely slowly realise that her household has moved on blithely with out her. Within the scene when everybody apologises and explains to her why issues are the way in which they’re, she can not utter a phrase. She realises that everybody, together with her father and her son, was complicit in erasing her. She abruptly knew what she needed to do. It is among the most painful movie endings I’ve watched. However the query nonetheless stays, was Rekha and Shashi’s marriage essential to convey up Rakhee’s son?

Gulzar’s phrases and RD Barman’s music, particularly the title music, add to the haunting high quality of the film. “Jahan pe baseraa ho, savera wahi hai,” sings Rakhee. What a tragedy!

The movie obtained 5 nominations on the twenty ninth Filmfare Awards. It was later remade in Telugu as Thodu Needa (1983), in Tamil as Kanmaniye Pesu (1986), in Malayalam as Nirabhedam (1987), and in Kannada as Suvvi Suvvalaali (1998).

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