Actor Anupam Kher comes a full circle when he'll be seen portraying the character of a professor suffering from dementia in the much-anticipated film MAINE GANDHI KO NAHIN MARA. The actor who first shot to fame with his outstanding performance as a sensitive yet rebellious father in SAARANSH (he was just 29 when he played a 60yr old man). The actor then didn't look back. He then went on to portray a wide array of characters whether it's a dreaded villain in KARMA, the funster army man in SHOLA AUR SHABNAM or more recently the caring but ferociously protective father in KAHO NAA... PYAAR HAI. Anupam Kher has just excelled. In MGKNM, he again plays an aged man, who when young was accused of murdering Gandhi, and now the ghosts of his past have come to haunt him today, when he is living a content life with his daughter and son. The film has got brief historical references and standpoint and has been produced by Anupam himself.
Professor Uttam Chaudhary is a retired Hindi teacher who lives with his daughter and young son in the city of Mumbai. He is suffering from what is laughingly called 'old age' - brief periods of forgetfulness, blanks in memory. Little does anyone realize that the problems are much deeper, and that this is just the beginning of a journey that will end in a man becoming a prisoner of his mind.
As his memories start to fade, a childhood trauma surfaces - a memory of being accused of murdering Gandhi. The more his life is whitewashed, the stronger this one memory remains.
As his world turns increasingly hostile, Prof. Chaudhary sees everything as an enemy...his house is a jail, his family are his captors.
And in the midst of all this is the story of his daughter. A single woman, working to not only support the family monetarily, but is also the only lifeline that can save her father from drowning in the universe his mind is creating.
It is the story of the power of one person's strength, hope and determination in pulling their loved one away from the abyss.
Indian cinema has taken us to many exotic territories around the world. Anupam P. Kher's 'Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara' based on Jahnu Barua's unusual script carries the audience to an unchartered territory, where they have never truly ventured before...the human brain.
The film structures the narrative by telling a simple story of a man's illness and his daughter's love, understanding and commitment to find her father's treatment, overcoming a host of problems through her faith and determination.
It is a film that connects two disparate events together. One, of a small middle class family in present day Mumbai struggling to come to terms with the fact that the head of the family is now suffering from early dementia and two, the assassination of the father of the nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
The Professor's often repeated and exasperated denial 'Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara' is rooted back in an era when a truth seeking son of India became the father of a newborn nation. Someone killed this man, but his truth survives... he lives as long as his ideals breathe within us.
This film has been directed by nine-time National Award winning director (and story writer) Jahnu Bahrua and stars the ever-brilliant Anupam Kher playing the demented Professor Chaudhary. It's been a while now the audiences haven't been able to see Anupam in a hard-hitting role with a couple of exceptions here and there. This character of the derelict professor is probably akin to the character he played in SAARANSH, where he was the traumatized father, a role with lot of emotional upheavals to it. This film will have the talented Urmila Matondkar playing a character with a lot of shades to it. The actress who has portrayed a plethora of characters on the celluloid will have another one to add up to her impressive list. The film has screenplay written by Sanjay Chouhan. The music by the quintessential Bappi Lahiri, who's coming back after a long hiatus. He was busy doin' international albums and stage shows.
Though the film is not set against a historical backdrop, the film is coming at a time when historical films are becoming a routine. And barring the stupendous exceptions of LAGAAN and GADAR, all the films were not received overwhelmingly. Whether it's Kamal Hassan's HEY RAM, Shyam Benegal's NETAJI or the films on the legendary martyr Bhagat Singh. All these films have done well in the metros, or more precisely with the 'classes'. Hence, it would be interesting to see how MAINE GANDHI... performs at the box-office, considering the fact that Anupam's production BAARIWALI, starring Kiron Kher had received wide accolades at the film festivals world-wide.