Rajat Kapoor's ANKHON DEHKI is serious 'intellectual cinema' made for a select audience. And although it has a striking resemblance to Nishikant Kamath's MUMBAI MERI JAAN, it does not represent a system or a city but just the life of one individual, in this case Bauji (Sanjay Mishra). But where it does stand out for its similarity to MUMBAI MERI JAAN is for the performance of Sanjay Mishra, which is akin to that of Paresh Rawal in that film. I can term it as a power-house performance.
Bauji is upset when his daughter's boyfriend is beaten up by his brother and other friends when they learn that he is not of 'good character'. When Bauji intervenes, he realizes that the boy is not what he is made out to be by a few individuals; infact he quite likes him.
This makes him change his perspective to life and he decides that he will not believe anything he hears unless he experiences it, or is sure that that is a fact.
This makes him out to be a loony by his family and close friends who ridicule him at first, and then hang around him because they do find a strange logic with his line of thinking.
CHECK OUT: Kapoor plus - Actor Ranbir interested in director Rajat's ANKHON DEKHI?
From this logic, he moves to not speaking for a brief period of time to then helping out in a gambling den which embarrasses his younger brother (Rajat Sharma), who by then has moved off from the joint family into a house of his own with his wife and son. This, separation too has an impact on Bauji.
Rajat stretches his imagination to beyond a point as Bauji's antics then keep getting at you. But the endearing part is between Bauji and his daughter Rita (Maya Sarao). Even though there are not many words exchanged by the two, their relationship stands out. Actually, come to think of it, Rajat does manage to bring alive all the relationships; between Bauji and himself, Bauji and the children, Bauji and his friends, Bauji and his wife. So yes, ANKHON DEKHI is all about Bauji and his life and dreams.
The sets let you smell the ambience of Bauji's home and the ending is out of the box! It helps you get into Bauji's mind!
Full marks to Rajat for attempting to be different, not bothering about the 'commercial returns'. Everyone wants to make films, but not everyone has the courage to invest in 'intellectual cinema'. True, box-office will not be sending out great reports, but for the makers and the entire unit, this is a film that would be high up on their library at home and 'recommended list' of friends.
If you are looking for something invigorating, ANKHON DEKHI is just for you. Don't trust me; like Bauji, go and see it for yourself.
After all, seeing is believing!