MOVIE REVIEW December 2003
Urmila Matondkar, Manoj Bajpai, Sanjay Suri, Priyanshu, Isha Koppikar,
Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi
Music Director: Uttam Singh.
It is difficult to slot Pinjar as a film. Though it is set in the Partition era, it is not an?art' film like the brilliant Garam Hawa of the 70s. Neither is it a commercial mainstream movie like the more recent blockbuster Gadar. It falls somewhere in between these two. And so, though Pinjar has a solid script ? it is based on a novel by Amrita Pritam ? something is amiss and it fails to move you the way Partition sagas should. Also, entertainment is sacrificed for authenticity too often leaving the average viewer a trifle bored.
At the centre of the tale is Puro (Urmila Matondkar) whose dreams of a happy future with fianc� Ramchand (Sanjay Suri) are shattered when she is kidnapped by a Muslim youth Rashid (Manoj Bajpai). He is looking to settle a family score that goes back two generations. A desperate Puro manages to escape but she is ostracized by her family. On the verge of committing suicide, she is rescued by Rashid who has by now fallen in love with her, and taken back to his home.
Faced with no other option, Puro becomes Hamida, and weds Rashid. The story follows Puro's tribulation and, later, how Rashid, in an attempt to redeem himself in her eyes, stakes his life to save Lajjo (Sandali Sinha), Puro's sister-in-law from the clutches of a kidnapper in the backdrop of the Partition riots. The film has a Hum Dil De Chuke sort of ending which leaves you pretty bewildered.
There are, however, some positive things to be said about Chandraprakash Dwivedi's directorial debut. The performances, for one. It certainly is a brave effort by Urmila to break out of the usual Bollywood routine and do a meaningful film, though at times her efforts seem too laboured. Manoj Bajpai as Rashid is as usual excellent, conveying a range of emotions ? lust, love, anger, rejection, sorrow, repentance and selflessness ? with effortless ease. Sanjay Suri as the scholar-poet Ramchand is good too, but the surprise package is Priyanshu Chatterjee. As Puro's brother Trilok, the ?Tum Bin' guy delivers a brilliant, understated performance. Sandali Sinha and Ishaa Koppikar as Rajjo, Puro's sister (in a deviation from her usual glamorous roles) offer able support.
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