May Issue 2010

By | Arts & Culture | Movies | Published 10 years ago

Contemporary Indian cinema has changed drastically over the last few years and this change has ushered in bold storylines, skimpy outfits and risqué colloquial dialogue. However, if you still miss the melodrama, the traditional outfits, large kothis and teary dialogue from days of yore — then you’re in luck.

Sadiyaan begins in the days following Partition. A Muslim child who is separated from his parents during their migration to Pakistan, is found by a Hindu couple, Amrit (Rekha) and Rajveer (Rishi Kapoor), and after a futile attempt to find his parents they happily adopt him and raise him as their own. As a young adult, Ishaan (Luv Sinha) falls in love with a Muslim Kashmiri girl, Chandni (Ferena Wazeir), and after a period of courtship, the two decide to tie the knot. But religion stands in the way — how will their parents agree to the marriage?

In an act of extreme love and sacrifice, Amrit reveals to Ishaan that he was originally the son of a Muslim couple, Benazir (Hema Malini) and Pervaiz (Javed Sheikh). Once the truth is revealed, Chandni’s parents are satisfied and Ishaan’s real parents are sought out from Pakistan and informed about their son and his upcoming nuptials.

The reunion of Ishaan with his birth parents proves thorny and complicated, and we witness how relationships of love can reign over relationships of blood. Now that Ishaan has two mothers, he is thrown in to the helms of chaos as he figures out his convoluted new life. A major part of the plot revolves around the two mothers and how they cope with their respective roles in Ishaan’s life. It is endearing to watch how they struggle to do the right thing for their son — often treading the boundaries that lie between selfishness and selflessness. Benazir remains in denial about her son’s indifference towards her, while Amrit rips out her heart for the sake of Ishaan’s future happiness, much to Ishaan’s dismay. The fact that two of India’s most dignified actors were cast in each of the senior roles adds a touch of class to the movie, for without their exceptional acting, the movie might have fallen flat with its flimsy script and potholed plot. Debut actors Luv Sinha and Ferena Wazier put on mediocre performances, but manage to please the audience with their naïve yet cutesy acting skills.

Sadiyaan may not be for the new generation of youngsters who demand fast-paced, high-energy movies, but it will definitely pull on the emotional strings of all parents who are wrought for such reminiscent family drama. Not only is it heart-warming, but the screenplay successfully renders the Partition genre in a new light, without focusing on the usual gore.