Ghar [ Home ] is one of those movies which I have heard more than seen. I know it has Rekha and Vinod Mehra in the lead roles, and I know it has one of the most memorable songs ever in Indian cinema. But, apart from catching up with the songs, I had known or seen very little of the movie. And now that I have seen it, I find it quite pleasantly surprising, on how brilliantly subtle and sensitive this movie is. Ghar is directed by Late Manick Chatterjee [ contrary to the misconception that Gulzar directed it]. Be it the polka dots on Vinod Mehra’s shirt, or Vinod Mehra’s mentioning of the 1970’s movie Sunflower [the one where De Sica directs Sophia Loren]; being a movie of the 70s, this movie is filled with references of that period. But that is just me being a bit too inquisitive about that period. Ghar, as a movie, captures an intense husband-wife relationship which struggles through an unfortunate incident. And when you see Ghar, you get the realisation that it does not take huge mansions or eye-blinding visuals to tell a story, when simplicity does it all so perfectly. The title here is a metaphor which plays at different levels. It refers to the initial premise of the story, when the couple faces difficulty in finding a proper home to settle down. But it is also refers to the home shared by the hearts of two lovers brought to the test due to an unfortunate incident. The home which provides shelter also becomes a space of insecurity and grief. All of this is revealed in layers in the plot, and I won’t keep pondering over it. Oh, there is so much to talk about. Brevity has never been one of my skills, but I will do my best to keep my praises short.
SYNOPSIS: **SPOILERS** AVOID IF YOU WANT TO KNOW IT FIRST HAND!
Also after the Jump: The Immortal and ‘Second to None’ Soundtrack of Ghar
The story of Vikas and Aarti, who love each other and get married , sounds like any other couple’s story. They go through the routine difficulties of modern day life in a city. But every morning, they wake up with absolute happiness to be in each others company. However, this was short-lived. Vikas and Aarti were attacked by a group of drunkards on their way home from a late night movie screening. Vikas was hit to make him unconscious. When Vikas wakes up in a hospital, he is told that his wife was raped. Aarti’s rape incident is splashed across the newspapers and it becomes the talk of the town. The incident is even cunningly utilised by politicians in their vote appeal campaigns. Aarti suffers from its trauma, while Vikas tries his best to sustain the relationship. Aarti finds it hard to believe that Vikas still loves her, and she thinks it is just out of pity that Vikas expresses his love for her. Will this strained relationship regain its original form? Or will the trauma of the incident force Vikas and Aarti to go separate ways? Kya hota hai aage, Jaanne ke liye dekhiye Ghar [To find out what happens, watch Ghar!].
Reasons to watch this movie:
a) Vinod Mehra:
In one of the most successful and memorable roles of his cinema career, Vinod Mehra shines as Vikas Chandra. He is absolutely at ease and gives us a beautifully honest performance. As rumors go, Rekha was seeing Vinod Mehra during that very period. And it is quite evident in the scenes from this movie. The romance and the chemistry between the lead pair is one of the key factors why Ghar is so memorable. And Vinod Mehra contributes equally to that chemistry with his hyper-charming smile, coupled with the emotional trauma that Vikas goes through. Vikas Chandra comes alive with Mehra’s precise reactions [ rather than acting] to the plot’s numerous chapters. His romance, rebellion, anxiety, desperation, angst and finally never ending love for Aarti is very well balanced in Vinod Mehra’s portrayal. Vinod Mehra was not nominated for this role [ Amitabh Bachhan won the Filmfare that year for yes, DON], but for sure, this is one of the most real drama performances I have seen.
This was before Zohrabai of Mukaddar ka Sikander. This was also before the Sari clad Chandni from Silsila and of course-Umrao Jaan. Rekha’s transformation breakthrough was first visible in Ghar. It was a leap in another direction for her, given her previous movies were surrounded by Daakoos [bandits], and she was forced to play a Banjaran or a Gaawn ki Chhori. Even her Sari clad role in Raampur ka Lakshman shows a very different image of her. Ghar broke that stereotype image that Rekha was before 1978. With this, she was known as the ravishing woman in the sari. Her hair, her sari, her eyes, the lipstick gloss, and the voice – Rekha was here to rule. And the role of Aarti Chandra was no one else’s than hers. The blurry line between Rekha’s onscreen and offscreen romance with Vinod Mehra feels absolutely eliminated with this movie. Just take my word for it, watch it already! And hey, she got her first Filmfare nomination for this particular role.
c) SOUNDTRACK: [ Okay, this is gonna be a bit long]
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that majority of the people who watch/ed this movie, will/would be because of its genius music, composed by none other than Panchamda – RD Burman. Right from the word go, the soundtrack ogf Ghar is a must have for every Bollywood music lover. It has tracks that are filled with romance to the brim, and the intoxicating vocals of Kishore, Lata, Asha and Mohd.Rafi. The lyrical excellence of Gulzar is unmatched and this is one of those gems from the Gulzar-RD Burman combo. [ Other must haves from the combo are- Mausam, Parichay, Aandhi, Masoom, Kinara]. So here we go, we discuss each track of the movie.
Aaj Kal Paanv Zameen Par:
Shot in most parts in slow-motion, this song expresses the immense joy of love [ and it has nothing to do with Anti-Gravity shoes]. Lata-ji’s silhoutte vocals makes this song an immportal experience and I believe, that RD Burman still lives today due to these songs, being heard over and over again. [ No matter how much today’s soundtracks deliver club hits, but they somehow lack the replay value of these songs of Panchamda.] My favourite part in this song is easily, the second part of the verse which goes:-
neend si rehti hai
halka sa nasha rehta hai
raat din aankhon mein ik
chehra basa rehta hai
par lagi aankhon ko dekha hai kabhi udte hue…[ and then Lata-ji says..] Bolo
I remember this song being used in a Chappal ad. I mean, C’MON. That is just not right.
Aapki Aankhon Main Kuch:
If Aaj Kal Paanv was Lata-ji’s solo performance, this one shows why Kishore da was the Numero Uno of that era. This song has the fragrance of romance written in each and every word. The magical chemistry of the duo -Vinod Mehra and Rekha, is effortlessly translated in the vocals of Kishore da and Lata-ji. Even the naughty giggles and complaining husband/wife pyari-takrar takes a musical form.The lyrics are to fall in love for.
I will have to translate these ones.
Lab hile to mogare ke phool khilte hain kahin
Aap ki aankhon mein kya saahil bhi milte hai kahin
Aap ki khaamoshiyaan bhi aap ki aawaaz hai
<–Attempt at Translation–>
When your lips move, Jasmines bloom
In your eyes somewhere, do shores meet?
Even in your silence, there is your voice.
[ Is that a good translation?]
BIG COOKIE POINTS FOR GULZAR SAAB!!
Tere Bina Jiya Jaye Naa:
The uncanny, never-heard before, bass-centric song, which sounds so simple in its structure, but is complicated as hell. I still marvel and my jaws forget to meet each other when I hear this track. The entire composition as a whole is BRILLIANT with a capital B. The scales shift when the song goes from the Mukhda to the Antara, and then shift back to the original. Phew! And Lata-ji, as expected, delivers all of it with absolute ease. Enough has already been said and discussed about this song, but how can I go without mentioning my fav bit.
Reshami raatein roz na hongi
Ye saugaatein roz na hongi
Zindagi tujh bin raas na aaye
Raas aaye na..!!!
[ The Botal song is not my favorite. So I’d rather not mention it. Shhh. Don’t even say it existed! This song has more of Prema Narayan than Rekha, and probably that’s why I don’t like it]
PHIR WAHI RAAT HAI [ There is a reason why it is in caps]
And finally, when the traumatic incident has happened, I started feeling like all the beautiful melodies were reserved for the first half of the movie, I am proved wrong. The showdown by Kishore da in -Phir wahi Raat Hai makes me feel absolutely elated. This song is the quintissential Kishore that we all miss. This is the Kishore I love and worship, and which no amount of clones – yes, no amount of Kumar Sanu, Abhijeet, Babul Supriyo or even Amit Kumar can substitute. It also made me realise the void that we have. Kishore da’s vocals in this song try to reach out Aarti, consoling her that everything is not over, and that Vikram is still in love with her. Even with all the elements of romance in this song, there is a hint of melancholy in the vocals which haunt me every time I listen to this song. And yes, this is my favourite in the soundtrack [arguably, well my left side at least thinks so, and I am a leftie]. There are no favourite parts in this song, because I just love it- all of it. But I can’t go without mentioning one bit. So here you go.
Masoom si neend mein
Jab koi sapna chale
Humko bula lena tum
Palko ke parde tale
Yeh raat hain khwaab ki
Khwaab ki raat hain
Phir wahi raat hain
<–Attempt at Translation–>
In a sleep of innocence,
When a dream walks,
Do call me under the shadow of your lashes
This is the night of dreams,
Of dreams is this night,
Its again that very night.
So end of the post. Moral of the story – Watch the movie. Buy the soundtrack. Worship RD.