Chaurahen Movie Review
Literally translated, it means crossroads and Rajshree Ojha depicts how it could even be a couple, almost 25 years into their marriage, at the Crossroads, not necessarily (as it is generally perceived) teenagers.
Rajashree links her mostly English movie with three stories set in different cities in India - Mumbai, Kolkata and Kochi. Love is the central theme. Some are searching for it, another not able to let go, yet another fighting with the emotions of love and a soldier wanting to be loved.
In Mumbai, there's Ankur and Soha Ali Khan. Ankur is this confused writer struggling to let go of the emotions that bind him to his dead father. Soha is his emotional anchor who in the end has to take a tough decision. Both come up with powerful performances.
In Kolkata, Victor Banerjee is getting distant from his wife of over 25 years. Roopa Ganguly is aware that her husband is in an illicit relationship with someone as old as his daughter. She lets it be. Somewhere, both are grieving the death of their daughter. Though not having many dialogues, Roopa more than makes up with her body language and facial expressions, which display the right emotions.
In Kochi, Karthik has come down from Europe to be with his parents. He has lost his younger brother who was a soldier in the army. The emotions felt in this family are tangible. While the parents are grieving the loss of their son, they also want the elder son to get married. Karthik is confused as to how his father can love his dead brother more than him who is alive and not understand the turmoil he is going through. He is battling his own set of emotions, which is intelligently revealed. A gem of a performance by Karthik, one that will surely be noticed.
There's also Shayan Munshi (the dead soldier) and Zeenat Aman who appear in a back story and his fleeting need to be loved and wanted, just before going to war.
Through all these cities, Rajshree takes you on a delightful ride, exploring the emotions in the most subtle way. She manages to get top notch performances from all the actors, including Charlie Chaplin's granddaughter, Kiera Chaplin.
Apart from the performances, the casting is a winner coupled with the background score and crisp editing by Bina Venugopal. One can clearly see that Rajshree, whose first release was the Sonam Kapoor starrer AISHA, is clearly in control. Then, she was quoted as having said that she did not have a say in the 'Final Cut'. CHAURAHEN, which is technically her first film, suffers from no such fate.
Mention must also be made of PVR who have created a category called 'Director's Rare', where newer directors are given a platform to showcase their talent. A good move to encourage talent. This also opens up avenues for directors to experiment with themes that may not be commercially viable, but yet make for fascinating cinema.
CHAURAHEN is one such film.
Rating - 3/5
- Actor: Zeenat Aman, Soha Ali Khan, Ankur Khanna, Shyan Mumshi, Nedumudi Venu, Arundati Nag, Karthik Kumar, Victor Banrejee, Roopa Ganguly and Kiera Chaplin
- Lyrics: nil
- Director: Rajshree Ojha
- Music Director: Manikanth Kedari