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Chandni : Eternal Moonlight

Her heart was a secret garden, and the walls were very high“.
-William Goldman, The Princess Bride

Chandni is not just a character from this movie, but she is a character who has been residing in Yashji’s thoughts for a long time. What culminated in this movie was the effect, but the cause of it can be found in his earlier works. Yashji is not a writer, I do know that. And this implies that Chandni is not a character that he has created. And yet, the character kept coming back to him, again and again. It was more like the character found him, rather then he going after the character.

The story of this movie was written by Kamna Chandra, who had earlier written Prem Rog, and her next work was 1942 A Love Story. She has been really selective about her work, and the quality of her work shows in the characterisation. She writes strong grounded characters, be it male or female. The screenplay was written by Arun Kaul and the dialogues were beautifully written by Sagar Sarhadi, another person who has a rare quality of writing mesmerising lines. Earlier, Sagar Sarhadi had written the screenplay of both Silsila and Kabhi Kabhie.

The bubbly and garrulous Chandni meets the naughty and romantic Rohit. When Rohit strikes the lighter at the staircase and the glow from Chandni’s faces brightens the screens, it almost like a storm-in-a-tea-cup moment. Even the heartbeat of the audience stops for a moment. Who wouldn’t fall in love when a smart and daring stranger compliments a beautiful small-town girl! And not just compliment, but open the heart like a bedsheet and shower all the petallic words. The fortress had been breached, someone had gained entry into Chandni’s heart. She just wanted to convince herself that its infatuation, but in fact it was love.

And that deep a love is resounded in the words of Chandni when she questions Rohit ‘Agar tum meri jagah hotey to tum kya karte?‘, when he comes back to reclaim her. Its not easy to fall in and out of love, not for people like Chandni & Rohit. What Rohit does is cruel, but sacrificial at the same time. Both Rohit and Chandni are two sides of the same coin. Chandni wants to tend to Rohit’s leg injury and even becomes his wheelchair in the act, but Rohit wants Chandni to lead her own life and not waste her time on him. She is ready to hear all abuses from his family members, and he is ready to abuse and humiliate her for her own good, so she goes away. And in the process, both of them hurt each other. But if there is more tears than smiles, how can it be called love? Suddenly, the love of Chandni pushes Rohit into going for a treatment. And after he regains his mobility, he shows up at her door. Rohit should not have come back into Chandni’s life, it was too late.

In the meanwhile, Chandni moves in with her friend in a new city and tries to gather the pieces of her broken life. She comes across Lalit, a person who owns a tourism business. Lalit is also a loner, having lost his loved one. But he has accepted life the way it is since his relationship had a closure. That’s where Chandni’s story was different, she did not have a closure. Walking out on Rohit was an impulsive decision, and not a thought out plan.

Its not everyday that you come across a character like Chandni, someone who is so full of energy and bundle of joy, someone who spreads cheer and keeps her pain to herself, someone who makes you feel good although she maybe herself be under duress, someone who nurses your pain and licks her own wounds. When someone loves you with all their devotion, least that we can do is not hurt them. But Chandni has always suffered, and not just at the hands of her loved ones but also by nature’s design. It could have been God’s way of saying ‘don’t love with all your heart’, but Chandni probably doesn’t wish to hear that. When she loves, she brings the moon to her man’s doorstep, but when she cries, there is no one to console her.

I had started out talking about Chandni, the character, rather than the movie. The above story is similar to the story of the character Chandni from Silsila. Just equate Rohit with Amit and the helicopter accident with the death of Amit’s brother. Chandni went onto marry Dr.Anand, but we don’t know under what circumstances. It was an incomplete story without any closure, and suddenly one fine day, she comes face to face with Amit. She is again pushed into making a choice.

The movie ‘Chandni’ explains what may have happened after the departure of Amit from Chandni’s life. How Dr.Anand came into Chandni’s life and the many questions that Chandni must’ve asked herself before deciding to move on. The situation in Silsila is a lot more tense, because Amit and Chandni were married, but not happily-married. Both of them were leading a life of compromise, a marriage of convenience rather than conviction. Amit should not have come back into Chandni’s life, it was too late.

But here, in this movie, both are still yearning for each other. When Chandni is in doubt, her friend tries to convicne her saying ‘Rohit tumhara guzra hua KAL tha, Lalit tumhara AAJ hai‘. But she is still not convinced. Although she agrees to marry Lalit, its more a decision of the mind than the heart. Buth when Rohit comes tumbling down the stairs on the day of the wedding, Chandni’s inner feelings come to the fore. A bride, a soon-to-be-wife of Lalit, forgets everything and runs upto Rohit; that one scene changes everything for everybody. A story that had started from a staircase and mandap ends with mandap and staircase. The same questions about love and loyalty start bogging Chandni. She is again pushed into making a choice.

Chandni was dumped by her boyfriend because she was just a toy for him and when she got pregnant, it was like a burden for him to handle; so Chandni was ditched in Daag. She had trusted him with her life, and here she was, left at crossroads. Sunil comes into her life and lends her legitimacy, while she gives him a new identity. And when things were going fine and she had started liking Sunil, from nowhere Sonia lands up to reclaim Sunil. Sonia should not have come back into Sunil’s life, it was too late.

Again, by nature’s design, Chandni is hurt. Her marital life is marred by another woman, and she doesn’t know how to handle the situation. She can either lose Sunil or share him. She is again pushed into making a choice.

That has been the bane of Chandni. She is always left to make a tough choice. In Daag, Chandni ends up sharing her object of affection with somebody else; more out of societal pressure than free will. In Silsila, Chandni chooses to make amends to her life and forget Amit for ever. She has an awakening and they both decide that it would be selfish if they didn’t honour the committment of their spouses. Amit too has a realization and agrees to let go. In both movies, the story of Chandni’s life was incomplete.

Finally, its here that Chandni has a proper closure. She gets to cry the tears of joy. All the wandering years spent in search of love, ultimately results in attaining it. And only Yashji could have made it possible by making this movie during the time when action movies ruled the box office.

Shiv-Hari were the music directors of this movie as well as Silsila. In fact, they even went on to do the music of Darr and Lamhe. Also, a signature tune in this movie went on to be used as a tune for a song in Lamhe, Kabhi Mai Kahoon. Their extensive use of tabla and santoor in both movies is a standout point. They understood the demands of the situation really well, and gave an awesome musical score. They pushed Amitabh Bachchan into lending his voice in Silsila, and they did the same with Sridevi in this movie. Wish they had continued to give music to some more movies, but we have to be content with a handful of albums from this brilliant duo, Shiv Kumar Sharma and Hari Prasad Chaurasia.

The lyrics were penned by Anand Bakshi and the songs are sung in every wedding since then. Mere haathon mei nau nau chudiyan hain & Mai sasural nahi jaoongi has risen above the status of being just a song and has become a folklore. Its the simplicity of the situational lyrics that keeps us glued to the movie, be it Tu mujhe suna mai tujhe sunao apni prem kahani or Lagi aaj sawan ki phir wo jhadi hai. The songs are memorable and they sit easy on our lips without taxing the brains. It was a phenomenal artistry with the pen.

There is a Chandni all around us, but we probably fail to see her or perceive her. Sridevi as Chandni came across as a loyal, sweet and an innocent persona. Her love was pure as gold and soft as marshmallow. Sridevi justified the character, and for once, she corrected her diction so the dialogues seemed natural and effortless. Rohit was played brilliantly by Rishi Kapoor. Its so easy to not notice him because all the attention is on Chandni. But as a frustrated lover or a romantic fool, he rises above the level of the script. And not to forget, Vinod Khanna as Lalit was immaculate. It was a while since we had seen Vinod in such an avtar, and he lent credibility to the character of Lalit. You feel for him towards the end, and for Waheedaji who plays his mother.

Chandni ushered in a new era of love and romance. In an interview Yashji had said that when he was driving down the lanes of Bombay, everywhere he saw movie posters of heroes with guns. That’s when he decided that his next movie would be a love story, and Chandni happened to him again.

This post was also published on MadAboutMoviez

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Posted by on November 15, 2012 in bollywood, movies

 

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Kaun Banega Mera Pati

Every young woman dreams of a perfect marriage. There is a right time in your life to get married, to become a wife and mother. I am a cultured Indian woman with good values and I have reached a stage where I need a companion with whom I can share my love, joy, sorrow and success with. For me that time has arrived. However I want to solemnize my marriage in the presence of all my fans who have been supportive throughoutRakhi Sawant

No, this post is not on Rakhi Sawant. In fact, I wanted to write this from quite sometime but her new reality show Rakhi Ka Swayamvar pushed me into writing it without further delay. I was just twiddling my thumb and wondering about all those actresses who are still single and what’s going on in their mind/heart. While we see that the guys entering the industry are mostly committed/married, the girls are still out there looking/thinking/choosing etc.

When Aamir Khan, SRK, Sunil Shetty etc entered the industry, they were married already. Then guys like Akshay Kumar, Bobby Deol, Fardeen Khan, Zayed Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan etc also tied the know. In fact, right now except Salman from yester-years and Ranbir Kapoor from current generation are the only eligible bachelors. But just see this list of actresses and their ages mentioned [social faux pas, we can mention their weight but not their age] and you may wonder too, what are they waiting for!

Manisha Koirala – 38 yrs – Having made her debut in Saudagar, she had a great start to her career. But somewhere down the line she lost her way. She was briefly seen in Company, Lajja etc; but her last best work was a decade ago in Dil Se. She dated quite a few guys, but recently it has been reported that she is engaged to Christpin Conroy, the Australian ambassador to Nepal.

Nandana Sen – 41 yrs – D/o Amartya Sen – She made a late debut in movie industry and no one knows where he career is going. Firstly, I was shocked to know that she is in her early 40’s; I thought she was in mid 30’s. So, there you have it; 40+ and still single.

Tabu – 38 yrs – Her career had a late start, thanks to Prem getting delayed by 5 years. This child-artist who had acted alongside Dev Anand had to wait really long for her film debut. She finally made her mark with movies like Chandni Bar, Maqbool, Chini Kum etc. Yes, the chini is still kum in her life.

Urmila Matondkar – 35 yrs – Another child artist, first seen in Shashi Kapoor’s Kalyug and then in Masoom; she had a great time in the industry. With movies like Rangeela, Judaai, Kaun, Indian etc she had a nice run in BO; sh also earned critical acclaim for Pinjar and Maine Gandhi Ko Nahi Mara. But off-late looks like her career is ending the same way it started, spate of flops.

Lisa Ray – 37 yrs – She never belonged here, although she did rise to fame with Afreen video and movies like Kasoor, Bollywood Hollywood and Water. Wonder who her supermodel hubby is gonna be!

Preity Zinta – 34 yrs – She is one brave woman, coming from army background and not back-tarcking on her statements in court, she has lived the life she has wanted to. She was really good in whatever she did, even IPL. She is in a long relationship with  Ness Wadia and she has never hidden that, hats off to her. But, we all are waiting for the official ceremony.

Nagma – 34 yrs – She tried her luck in Hindi movies, when it did not work out well she went down-South and created waves with Kadhalan, Love Birds etc. But she too lost her way, joined Art Of Living; she is still somewhere learning to live, living to learn.

Sushmita Sen – 33 yrs – One of the most out-spoken actresses and she started the trend of not hiding anything and being open to the world, whether it was the relationships she had with married men or the adoption of a girl-child whom she named Rene, meaning ressurrection. Wish she finds a nice guy and ressurrects her life.

Shilpa Shetty – 33 yrs – I have already written about here, click here. All I can say is that, its not over till the official ceremony is performed.

Rani Mukherjee – 31 yrs – She was a winner all the way, starting with KKHH. She did some fabulous work in Black, Saathiya etc, but now she is struggling with her last few movies not doing well. She also had to come clean on Adi Chopra when people/media suspected that she secretly married him. Hope she finds someone the way her cousin Kajol did, and settle down.

The list is quite long and it will get boring if I start listing out everybody. But I do think that there is a right time for everybody when they have to make a call. Madhuri Dixit, Sridevi, Meenakshi Shehsadri etc have done it in the past; retire gracefully or at least retreat and take some time off for themselves and concentrate on personal life. By the way, I am not getting judgemental or overly concerned about it. It was just a thought, so please do take it the right way.

Ths post was first published on PFC

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2009 in bollywood, movies

 

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