13 April 2015 | jmathur_swayamprabha
A saga of family bonds and sacrifice
The great Indian tradition embedding family values, has always kept love and family bonds on a high pedestal. And the litmus test of your love for your family is to be ready to sacrifice self-interest. Baseraa is an excellent movie released in 1981, underscoring the importance of sacrifice. The movie is by no means outdated or something giving an air of imposing self-sacrifice upon some member of the family for the sake of false family pride etc. It is an outstanding movie in which there is no villain. Only the fate is the villain which plays with the members of a family in which everybody loves everybody and keeps the happiness of the whole family above his or her self-interest.
The story plot is different and just very very good. A happy housewife and mother of a son, Rakhee gets lunatic and has to go to the asylum. In order to take care of her small kid, her father gets her younger sister, Rekha who is a widow, married to her husband, Shashi Kapoor. She also begets a son and the family though happy in general amongst abundant love among its members, is always feeling a pinch that the original lady of the house is spending her life in the asylum. The happiness of the family increases with the now grown-up elder son, Raj Kiran being engaged to a nice girl, Poonam Dhillon. Yet the pinch because of Rakhee's condition, exists in hearts of the family members The real plot of the story takes shape when after a gap of 14 years, Rakhee becomes normal. The psychiatrist treating her is of the opinion that she should get her house and her family as if nothing has changed over these 14 years as any setback because of the changed status of things and relationships may give her mind an undesirable jolt, reverting her back to lunacy. Now the family which loves Rakhee very much, tries its best to hide the changed scenario within the family and the household, from her. In this process, everyone suffers, her sister Rekha and her small child being the biggest sufferers. However when Rakhee comes to know the real status of things, she feels that she is the barrier between her family and its permanent happiness. And she takes a big self-sacrificial decision to keep the happiness of her family intact.
The beauty of this movie is that the narrative flows naturally without any undue dragging at any spot. The director, Ramesh Talwar has demonstrated his better sense by not allowing anything going over the top and keeping all the sequences upto their optimum length only. He has used flash backs quite admirably to explain the things. However he has not shown any haste in expanding the real story and taken his time in patiently unfolding the minute details of the family and the happiness within. It is an emotional family drama which flows nicely and maintains the curiosity of the viewer throughout. The plot of the movie does not need a baddie. So all the characters are quite noble whose hearts are brimming with kindness and love. All the same, they look flesh and blood human beings and not like the creatures coming from some other planet. This normalcy of all the characters is the strength of the movie.
All the three main protagonists of the story have given excellent performances. I consider Shashi Kapoor as the most under-rated actor of the Kapoor clan of Bollywood who despite being a very good actor, never got the praise he deserved. He has given a natural performance as the family head, restless to do justice to all the members of his family which include his two wives who are sisters. Rakhee has delivered a fine performance in the difficult role assigned to her (her real life husband Gulzar has written the screenplay, dialogs and lyrics of this movie). However the show-stealer is Rekha who has delivered a mesmerizing performance. She is visible in the movie in many forms - a naughty younger sister and a teasing sister-in-law, a responsible housewife who loves her sister's son not less than her own son, an affectionate and sensitive mother and finally a sacrificing wife and sister who is ready to personally suffer to any extent if her suffering is the condition for her elder sister's normalcy. She has showcased her abundant talent in each of these forms. The other characters - Poonam Dhillon, Raj Kiran and the child artist (who appears to be the childhood version of the now well-known model cum actor, Jas Arora) have also done exceedingly well in their respective roles.
The music does not have any chartbusters to its credit. However all the songs are quite good to listen and the lyrics are quite meaningful. I will mention two songs here - 1. the title song - Jahaan Pe Savera Ho, Wahin Pe Basera Ho, 2. Aaungi Ek Din, Aaj Jaaun which has been picturised on naughty Rekha on the first night of her sister and brother-in-law after their wedding.
The movie contains many emotionally appealing scenes. However the scene between Rakhee and Poonam Dhillon leading to the climax of the movie is the soul of this movie. I am not detailing it. It's better to watch the movie to feel its impact.
The technical aspects of the movie are perfect. The director and the editor have not allowed the movie to be unduly long. It's crisp and not loaded heavily with emotions. It's a tear-jerker, yet everything is kept under control to make the things appear as realistic.
All in all, Baseraa is a good emotional family drama which reminds us of the great Indian tradition of family values in which the happiness of the family is the numero uno interest of all its members.