The first question that comes to your mind after watching the movie is – why the hell is Chitrangada Singh not acting in any more movies? Damn – she is right up on my list after Scarlett Johansson.
Anyways, the movie is based on the Indian society and the revolution and Emergency in the 1970s. The film is centered around the lives of three DU students Vikram (Shiney Ahuja), Shiddharth (Kay Kay Menon) and Geeta (Chitrangada). I already have a very high opinion of Shiney and Kay Kay and to me they represent the best of Indian actors, ahead of the Khans and the Bacchans, well at least one Bacchan.
The movie weaves through their lives, while in college and then outside it, and is interlaced with the political upheaval in India in the 70s with Emergency, and Communism just about finding it roots. Siddharth, son of a judge, is attracted to the extreme Communist ideology and swears by the Naxalite movement. Geeta is initially reluctant about the movement but joins in later and starts working in a village. Vikram uses his networking skills to move up the social ladder. He is the man who can get things done. Though Vikram is manipulative and a political figure, he remains good at the bottom of his heart, and his love for Geeta is unending. Siddharth, though committed to the revolution, loses focus as the movie progresses. Geeta, initially not so optimistic about the revolution, works whole heartedly once she starts working, and in the course of her faces every possible misfortune and even gets raped by the autocratic police. Siddharht too suffers a lot at the end of the movie and is mentally disabled in a police beating. However, it ends on an optimistic note with him and Geeta coming together at the end.
The movie is very well directed and very well paced, and the actors give brilliant performances. In all, a must watch movie. I dont know how I missed the movie when it was released. The movie draws its name from a Mirza Ghalib ghazal quoted below:
हज़ारों ख़्वाहिशें ऐसी की हर ख़्वाहिश पे दम निकले
बहुत निकले मेरे अरमान लेकिन फिर भी कम निकले
मुहब्बत में नही है फ़र्क जीने और मरने का
उसी को देख कर जीते हैं जिस काफ़िर पर दम निकले
Another couple of lines from Rahim, which I really like and believe in are used once in the movie.
रहिमन धागा प्रीत का मत तोड़ो चटकाए
टूटे सो फिर ना जुड़े, जुड़े गाँठ पड़ जाये