Arohan (1983)

Not Rated   |    |  Drama


Arohan (1983) Poster

Story of a poor farmer who suffers under a cunning and cruel landlord, amidst rising Naxalism in the 60s.

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7.6/10
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25 March 2011 | Chrysanthepop
The Ascending Scale
'Arohan' focuses on the issue of the Zameendars (property holders who won massive areas of farmlands) taking over the land of the poor farmers while making them work on it likes slaves and in exchange offering them a price next to nothing. Though Zameendary was 'abolished' after India gained independence, it was still heavily illegally practiced in the rural area. Benegal addresses this issue through the story of a young farmer Hari Mondal and his family. Even though Mondal struggles for justice to win back his land, it comes at a high price where his family falls apart.

Benegal's portrayal is very raw and the the Bengali essence is captured with authenticity through art direction, interaction of actors, setting and the score. All the actors deliver a natural performances. Om Puri is outstanding and he is commendably supported by Victor Banerjee, Noni Ganguly, Pankaj Kapur, Sreela Majumdar and others. The cinematography also deserves special mention as it has a very documentary-like hold that reflects the harsh reality of the issues.

Benegal tackles other issues that arise from poverty. Hari Mondal and his family are of good heart but they are very naive...to the point that they permit Pakhi to go to Calcutta with a stranger who promised her employment.

'Arohan' is among Benegal's lesser known and underrated works. To me, Hari Mondal is among the most memorable characters. He's a good hard- working man trying to provide for his family but he's too naive and gullible for his own good.

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