Can you depend on your family? Raj Malhotra and wife Pooja have four sons who have settled down professionally and are quite independent. However, when Raj Malhotra decides to retire in order to spend time with his children, none of then want to be burdened with the responsibility of looking after them. The sons devise a plan which they believe will let their parents down easy, but when it backfires the parents end up going different ways in order to please their children’s so called good intentions. Will the children be able to realize their mistakes before it’s too late?
Other Names: Gardener
Director: Ravi Chopra
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Salman Khan, Mahima Chaudhry, Aman Verma, Rimi Sen, Samir Soni, Paresh Rawal, Lilette Dubey
Running Time: 2hrs 50mins
I just resumed university last week, so I haven’t had as much time as wanted to myself, but now that it’s the weekend I have a chance to look at a few movies. First off is an Indian movie by the name of Baghban, which means something along the lines of caretaker or gardener. I watched this when it was released, and it is one of those movies that you just have to have in your collection. The tag line itself just compelled me to watch it; “Can you depend on your family?”. With a cast consisting of some of India’s best, you are assured that this movie will not disappoint. Baghban is actually directed by Ravi Chopra and produced by his father Baldev Raj Chopra, who originally wanted to make the movie thirty years prior to this release.
The movie tells the story of Raj Malhotra, his wife Pooja and their four sons Ajay, Sanjay, Rohit, and Karan. Raj and Pooja have provided their children with everything they wanted, often at the cost of Raj and Pooja’s own requirements. The Malhotras also have an adopted son Alok (Salman Khan) who, studying abroad, has fallen in love with Arpita. Alok was an orphan and Raj had provided him with a home and education that he was very enthusiastic about.
Raj now feels that his mission in life is complete, having put all his children through an education and to get them off to a good start in life. Believing his children to be the assets of his investment, he decides to retire in order to spend the remaining of his years living with them and their children. However his sons do not meet eye to eye with him. To them, their parents will only be a burden on their lives, as they are having enough to deal with. Three of the sons are married, two of them have children, and the last son is a bachelor. The sons do not want to hurt their parents’ feelings so they devise a plan that will get their parents to revoke their proposition. The way the sons see it, the parents will never agree to live separately, so they decide to discourage their father’s idea of living with them by proposing that their mother stay with one family and their father stay with another, and then after 6 months they rotate to the next family in order to spend time with everyone. This all backfires on them when the mother convinces Raj to accept their children’s “good intentions”; thus begins their struggle.
The couple manages to endure their separation as well as their hosts. Along the way, Raj meets some characters that help make it a bit easier on him to be separated from his wife. Hemant Patel and his wife Shanti own a coffee shop where Raj begins to spend most of his time, and is soon persuaded to work part time for them. Raj’s story is spread to the students who frequent the coffee shop, and they convince Raj to write about his life and experiences that he is going through, almost like a journal, which later becomes a best seller. Their first 6 months are coming to an end; will the Malhotra couple be able to endure their separation any more?
What I love about Indian movies that are not present in other cinema is the music and dancing. Indian movies are not musicals, like what a western musical is like; it is cinema filled with colorful dancing and singing, very unique characteristics that are flawlessly executed in Indian cinema. Baghban, although a serious movie, has its share of great songs, music, and dancing. You also get to hear the vocals of Amitabh Bachchan himself, which is really nice.
Baghban is an insight into the lives of what many people have, are, and will (or might) have to go through. It’s not just about issues that face Indians, but more a subject that is applicable to the global community. Raj and Pooja Malhotra have sacrificed a lot for their children, invested in a lot into their children in order for them to be successful in life. What parent would not want the best for their children? After all the work and effort in providing the best for their children, would it be too much to ask if they can spend more time with their own family, especially if you have reached an age where you realize there is not much you can do or give to your family apart from love. This is a film that, in my opinion, touches on the sensitive subject of family. What would you do or think of your children if you did everything you could to provide for them, even if it was at your own expense, and find out that in the end it was all for nothing?
Amitabh Bachchan, as one Indian cinema’s most prominent figures, portrays the role of Raj Malhotra flawlessly. Hemant Patel is a great addition to bring a bit of comedy into the mix. With a lot of great supporting actors/actresses, Baghban becomes more of a roller coaster of emotions than just another family oriented movie.
An amazing film with a great cast, Baghban is definitely a must see, if not must own.
I give this a 9/10.
You can buy Baghban from Amazon.