Monday, January 18, 2010

Gadar Ek Prem Katha (2001) - An incredibly successful movie

The art of movie-making is inherently the art of story telling. The success (and therefore also the failure) of a film is primarily determined by the director’s ability to narrate a story well. The rest of the paraphernalia, read, music, dance, camera work, set design, costume design, sound…all of it is secondary. The immensely successful movie, Gadar-Ek Prem Katha, directed by Anil Sharma, is a superlative example of this simple fact. Many a movie has talked about love and many a movie has also talked about the Partition. So in that sense, Mr. Sharma is not telling a new story. However he has taken these two emotionally-charged elements and woven a wonderfully simple tale that leaves the viewer experience a whole gamut of emotions without being too heavy.

Gadar-Ek Prem Katha, starts off in pre-partition India. Sakeena (Amisha Patel’s soft beauty will take your breath away), a girl from a rich Muslim family is a student at a convent school in Shimla. Tara Singh (Sunny Deol, aptly cast) is a truck driver who fetches supplies to the school and nurtures a very innocent crush on her. A silly prank is the starting point of an unlikely friendship that develops between these two apparently diverse individuals. Then comes Partition and Sakeena’s family headed by Ahsraf Ali (Amrish Puri) depart for Lahore amidst growing tension between the two communities. The ensuing mindless violence that followed Partition is very sensibly captured and in one such incidence Sakeena gets left behind while her entire family boards the train to Pakistan.

Tara Singh rescues her from the clutches of sword wielding men and offers her the shelter and security of his home. After some time they marry and their love matures into a strong bond. The couple have a son and are blissfully happy. After a good seven odd years, Sakeena comes upon a picture of her father in the newspaper and she realises that her family is alive and well.

With the help of Tara Singh, Sakeena is able to re-establish contact with her father Ashraf Ali across the border. Ali is happy that his daughter is alive but is none too pleased that she is now married to a Sikh and also has a son. His devious plotting finds the sweet family torn apart-Sakeena under house arrest in Pakistan; Tara and their son waiting in India. As soon as Tara Singh is able to discover his father-in-law’s true intentions, he sets out for Pakistan to rescue his wife and bring her back home. He is supported in this endeavour by his faithful friend Darmiyan Singh and his little son. In Pakistan Tara has to face many trials and tribulations. Whether Tara is able to bring back his “Madam” (as he refers to Sakeena) forms the second half and the climax of the film.

Heartfelt acting, melodious songs and a simple narrative make this film immensely watch-able.

Awards won:

Filmfare Best Action Award - Tinnu Verma
Filmfare Special Performance Award - Amisha Patel
Sansui Best Actress Award - Amisha Patel
Annual Filmgoers Awards - Best Actress - Amisha Patel

Songs from the movie:

1. Aan milo sajna (link)

2. Main Nikla Gaddi Leke (link)

3. Musaafir jaane wale (link)

4. Hum Juda Ho Gaye (link)

5. Udja Kale Kawan (link)

Gadar Ek Prem Katha (2001)

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