Revathy's 'Phir Milenge' is a film about a young woman who tragically finds out that she is an HIV positive, a result of a one-time affair she had had with an old friend a few months before. Now she has to cope with the cruel society and its prejudice. This young woman is played by Shilpa Shetty, an actress who sadly never was flooded with great film offers before, but here was given a splendid chance to showcase her talent in a role that was not only one of her best, but one of the best of the year.
This film, inspired by the American picture Philadelphia, is made by Revathy in her own different and convincing style. India is not America, and the prejudice can go to any extents in there. Some may say it goes over the top with a stereotyped depiction of prejudice. But if we have to be honest, we got to admit that it's the real situation, not only in India but in all over the world, caused by the ongoing lack of awareness of AIDS and of what it actually is.
I found the film realistic, intense, powerful and emotionally touching. But one aspect that impressed me the most was Shilpa Shetty's magnificent dramatic performance. Her heartfelt, sensitive portrayal of the optimistic, stubborn and strong career woman Tamanna Sahni was both heartbreaking and inspiring. She was natural, moving and believable all through, performing the most difficult emotional moments with amazing depth and conviction. Abhishek Bachchan and Salman Khan provide great support. Bachchan is particularly impressive as the simple, humorous lawyer who supports Tamanna throughout the film.
Towards the end, the film includes several scenes, some of which are heart-warming, and others are simply heart-rending. The first is Shilpa and Salman's first meeting when he is already at the advanced stages of his illness, when the two start crying as he asks her to forgive him. The following scene of Shilpa's breakdown when she visits Abhishek, is even more powerful, showing Shetty's acting at its deepest expressive level. Phir Milenge is a wonderful dramatic feature which shows us how unexpected life can be. Despite a somewhat slow and dark development, the film remains steadily interesting and compelling and ultimately leaves a mark. I highly recommend.
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