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  • vjeet_a17 December 2005
    Bazaar is an excellent movie made in 1982. Sarju and Shabnam are in love but their love story end with such a tragedy that makes you think that socially acceptable and institutional ways of defining and allowing human relationship very often end up destroying the meaning of relationship itself.

    Set up of the movie is typical lower class Indian society. Najma and Salim are also in platonic relationship. Salim is a writer and a thinker while Najma is a beautiful and young woman from a withered Nawab family. Due to bad financial situation her mother is asking her to trade her body to feed the family. Najma, who doesn't accept that, runs away with another man (Akhter) to Bombay. But her mental situation is never still since she loves her family but is not ready to sacrifice her youth for them. Although is a good man and he is also interested in marrying her and but his middle aged boss wants Najma and Akhter to look for a bride for him. In order to save his job and apartment Akhter persuades Najma to do something that leads to destruction of Sarju and Shabnam's love story.

    Scenes from Hyderabad city in which poor parents are ready to do anything to get their daughter married are very impressive and well. All actors are very good, script, songs and costumes are fabulous. This movie was very advanced in its time of release. Even after 23 years since it release a large section of Indian society has not got the message of the movie. Western societies despite their own disadvantages are much much better systems in the perspective of this movie. Even today, girl child is seen as a burden in Indian society. Concept of single moms and even single parent is just not acceptable. Girls are identified either from the father's name or her husband's name. There is no third way. She doesn't have an identity on her own.

    Najma, in the end, after a discussion with Salim, realizes that she has to have her own identity which doesn't have to come from either Akhter (her potential husband) or her parents (who want to sell her body to live!). So, she say goodbye to Akhter and goes with Salim, perhaps to find her ways to wash off her part of sins she committed in order to gain identity from Akhter.

    A must see movie, If you want to understand worst part of Indian society and its solid institutional ways of doing things which are so fragile and delicate that they often get crushed.

    A bunch of 7 melodious songs will haunt you forever.
  • Baazaar (1982) represents the true story of numerous unfortunate (Muslim) girls who are virtually sold to the rich people in the Gulf under the camouflage of marriage by their poor parents / guardians. These unfortunate girls thereafter remain accursed to spend their entire life with much older 'husbands' or according to their dictates. This Baazaar (market) is actually the market of their poverty; their helplessness, to be accurate. Most of such so-called marriages which are nothing but the selling of the girls only (marriage being just a decent name for the flesh-trade) take place in Hyderabad.

    This movie narrates the selling of the helplessness of a very young and innocent girl - Shabnam (Supriya Paathak) who comes from a poor family and is in love with a poor boy - Sarju (Farooq Sheikh). Her parents finalize the 'deal' of her so-called marriage with a rich old man from Dubai who has arrived at Hyderabad only for this 'marriage'. In finding a suitable girl for him, he is helped by Akhtar Hussain (Bharat Kapoor) who is going to get money for this purpose plus Najma (Smita Patil) who had run away from her home with him because of her parents' also being ready to throw into such a hell only on account of their poverty. Najma herself has been in love with a thinker and Shaayar (Urdu poet) - Salim (Nasiruddin Shah) but their love is platonic. Najma had opted to run away from her parental home with Akhtar and accepted the live-in relationship with him because she was not able to spend her life with Salim and Akhtar had assured her that as soon as he got enough money, he would marry her. Now Najma also becomes a part of this selling-out of Shabnam alongwith Akhtar under the hope that by getting money for that, Akhtar will be able to marry her. Najma is not aware of the fact that Shabnam is in love with Sarju who is Najma's deemed brother. When she realizes her mistake, it's too late. Just too late !

    Writer-director Saagar Sarhadi has made a brilliant movie with a modest production value. Even the colours of this coloured movie have got faded out in the prints available now. But one thing is intact. The soul of the movie. This movie is not to be watched by eyes and ears (the songs being immortal ones and the dialogs being the heart-piercing ones) but by the soul. Just visualize the real life plight of hundreds of such poor (Muslim) girls whom none cares for once they are sold out and 'delivered'. They are considered like the animals whose flesh is sold for the consumption of the non-vegetarians. They are not self-sufficient. They are not independent. Hence helpless. And their helplessness gets easily sold out to those who may not be worthy of becoming their husbands but who are wealthy enough to buy that helplessness from their guardians. The girls are just commodities whose selling consideration is also not theirs, it goes into the hands of their guardians.

    Baazaar is a realistic movie which penetrates the viewer's heart like anything and makes him / her realize the cruel reality prevailing in our country. There has not been any political or social will shown over the years to abolish this market. The deals have been going on, just going on ! Even the tears of the girls (a majority of them are minor by age) dry up but the stony hearts of the buyers and the sellers do not exude. Everything of this soul-crushing phenomena has been portrayed with utmost realism in this movie through a touching love story (of Sarju and Shabnam) which is destined to go the tragic way. The sentimental love story with the horrifying reality has been blended well with the Shaayari (Urdu poetry) and the melodious music, giving the movie a unique form and rendering it a cult status.

    Baazaar highlights the irony of so-called religious customs and the significance given to the so-called giving of tongue (solemn promise made, not to be broken) which are nothing but the subterfuge for ensuring that the deal for giving the girl ultimately materializes and no eleventh hour development is able to stop it. Hollow excuses are painfully furnished to destroy the life of innocent girls whose parents / guardians are not ready to take their steps back despite knowing very well that they are thrusting their girl into hell.

    Khayyam's music with the great Urdu poetry created by Mir Taqi Mir, Mirza Shauq, Makhdoom Mohiuddin, Bashar Nawaz etc. is immortal, consisting of classic Ghazals and Nazms like Dikhaai Diye Yun Ki Bekhud Kiya, Karoge Yaad To Har Baat Yaad Aayegi, Dekh Lo Aaj Hum Ko Jee Bhar Ke, Phir Chhidi Raat Baat Phoolon Ki etc.

    Towering performances have been delivered by the great artists of Indian cinema viz. Nasiruddin Shah, Smita Patil and Farooq Sheikh. These are the actors who have redefined the art of acting and Baazaar is a showcase of their abilities. However the heart-conqueror is Supriya Paathak who won the Filmfare award for the best supporting actress for her role of Shabnam in this movie.The complete supporting cast involving actors like Bharat Kapoor, Nisha Singh (as Shabnam's friend - Nasreen), Sulbha Deshpande, Yunus Parvez, Shaukat Aazmi, B.L. Chopra, Jaaved Khan etc. has done exceedingly well.

    I end this review with a dialog from the final meeting of Sarju and Shabnam in the movie (just before the song - Dekh Lo Aaj Humko Jee Bhar Ke). Sarju says, 'Agar Hum Gharib Na Hote To Humko Koi Bhi Juda Nahin Kar Sakta Tha Na ?' (None could have separated us had we not been poor). And Shabnam replies, Haan, Tab Hamko Koi Bhi Juda Nahin Kar Sakta Tha' (Yes, then none could have separated us).
  • silvan-desouza13 September 2014
    In the 80s when Hindi cinema was rehashing the same old stories,some few filmmakers made Parallel films which had brilliant and many times hardly told stories. It had brilliant actors like Naseeruddin Shah,Smita Patil.etc Bazaar has a story of bribe buying which was prevalent in 80s. The film shocks you and moves you throughout. It has several brilliant scenes and till the end moves on one track though being slow paced at times which is excused

    Direction is superb Music is good, with some melidious songs

    Naseeruddin Shah is brilliant as always,this actor always excelled in such cinema. Smita Patil too is flawless, In the same year she did commercial cinema with films like Namak Halaal and Shakti Farooque Sheikh is amazing, Bharat Kapoor is good Supriya Pathak is brilliant, she won best supporting actress award sadly the only win for this film.
  • A great movie ! Especially the romantic scenes between Farooq and Supriya are sensitively depicted. A true classic piece of work ! An instructive lesson in movie making. Another rare gem from the alternative cinema of India. Khayyam scores once again. The actors play their roles extremely well. A true Sagar Sarhadi classic . This movie could have been instrumental in awakening the law enforcement agencies to a major bride buying racket that was going on in India in the 1980s. The victims were usually minors and the buyers were generally middle east sheiks. The story , especially the ending is a bit clichéd and thats the reason I give this movie 9 stars instead of 10.

    the theme is hard hitting and powerful. A movie worth watching .
  • All the ugliness of society shown in it still exists.
  • This movie is a lot of things. A social commentary on a serious issue (forced marriage for money), a piece of minimalist art (budget production that's quite relatable), sensitive direction (avoids B&W portrayal while unfolding the characters), a philosophical passage (the lyrics and some dialogues) and a musical treat (Khayyam's evergreen music). Each actor here is a legend and so well cast. Wonder why the prolific writer Sarhadi didn't direct more movies after this!
  • This movie is considered one of the greater achievements of Indian independent cinema. It is deemed as one of the classics. I got a chance to watch it recently. It was such a let down. The acting is theatrical at its best and terrible in general. All the big names disappoint in a big way. I guess director has to take a lot of blame. The script is so loose that whole thing falls through it. Why is Naseeruddin Shah in a hyperbolic state of mind all the time? I have not seen so much of Samita Patil, but I was left wondering why is she considered such a great actress? She never came close to delivering the pain and anguish of Najma, who is still hanging onto some hope. Farooq Shaikh otherwise a good actor, was a washout. Towards the end he becomes unbearable.

    It does have some of the most loved musical score. But that is no accomplishment on director's or any of the actors' part. Khayyam does a great job, but the poetry of Mir has a music of its own. It is such a shame that Bazaar is considered gem of Indian cinema, when it fails so badly as a film.