27 September 2009 | Peter_Young
Politics and love - fortunately, there's more of the latter...
I generally avoid films about politics, because I find that most of them are stereotypical and one-sided, but this one is directed by Gulzar so it can be nothing but excellent. I followed this belief of mine, and I was not disappointed. Aandhi is not at all a film about politics. Politics is just a part of the story, it's just a profession of a woman in this film, which is used to show her power and to show how a profession of this kind may trouble a woman's personal life. This is a film about love, marriage, romance, human nature, pride, separation, ego, forgiveness and reconciliation (in chronological order).
Aandhi is about Aarti, a woman of strong character who has ambitions to become a politician like her dad. She falls for a common hotel manager named JK, and decides to tie the knot with him, much to the displeasure of her father. After marriage, Aarti tries her best to balance between her political work and responsibility as a wife/mother. However, as time goes by JK feels he becomes inferior to her even at home. Differences lead to intense arguments and subsequently to a break up. Many years later they meet again when she is already a big political leader. And a new relationship begins as they reminisce their life together.
I was completely engaged by Gulzar's superb direction, his extraordinary story-telling, and his realistic portrayal of human relationships. We see neither bitterness nor anger between Aarti and JK, but only a renewed and mature relationship based on understanding and fond memories. The film is extremely well-written, so are the characters. The story unfolds interestingly through flashbacks and the connection between the past and the present is brilliantly displayed in the film. There is a very impressive attention the director pays to details. Gulzar's dialogues are exceptional, and he writes beautiful lyrics to the songs.
Suchitra Sen and Sanjeev Kumar give two powerful performances. Sen is astonishing as Aarti. We see so many sides of her personality, and this difficult role is played with complete ease and precision by this phenomenal actress, including dialogue delivery and body language. This is a performance with a great mix of toughness and vulnerability. Sen displays both coolness and a pinch of arrogance while playing the strong politician, yet convincingly switches it with warmth and cordiality when she becomes a suffering woman or a wife. The ever-great Sanjeev Kumar is (unsurprisingly) nothing short of excellent. This is another outstanding performance this unforgettable actor added to his vast repertoire.
The film is both a drama and a romance, and one aspect that significantly contributes to this is RD Bruman's fantastic soundtrack. "Is Mod Pe Jaate Hain", "Tum Aa Gaye Ho" are wonderful songs, but the one that makes the greatest impact is "Tere Bina Zindagi Se Joi", for its melodious tunes, fantastic lyrics, but most importantly for the amazing scenes it carries. I consider the sequences shown through this song the best scenes of the film. They show moments of interaction and painful feelings of missing. These are poignant and memorable moments, and the same can be said about the film itself. Aandhi is a gem. That's it.