Name: Aandhi (Storm)
Did I watch this recently? Yes
Aandhi tells the story of an Indian female Politician running for re-election – Miss Aarti Devi (Suchitra Sen). During the campaign there is immense pressure on her image due to her underhanded political opponent. On the election trail she stays in a hotel, it soon becomes clear Miss Devi and the Hotel Manager (Sanjeev Kumar) have a history. Devi has always had dreams to be a politician and one day run the country, what is her history and relation with this hotel manager? This relation with the hotel manager will provide an opportunity for her political opponents to smear Aarti Devi’s honour – will she be re-elected?
This movie was allegedly based upon Indira Ghandi’s life, although there are similarities there isn’t a direct story from her life. The story focuses on two aspects, Aarti Devi’s political struggle to reclaim her image and be re-elected. Other aspect focuses on the history and future of her relations with hotel manager Sanjeev Kumar.
The highlight of the film for me is to watch the history of Sanjeev & Suchitra’s characters slowly unfold. There are little clues here and there what happened between them, but its the steady flashbacks throughout the film that intertwines with the present that keeps the viewer guessing and intrigued. The memories are disjointed with flashback that do not play in sequential order but specific moments here and there – much like human memories. It’s also interesting to see how their relationship resumes after the many many years apart and all the events that happened between them – how some feelings just last.
Of course the impediment to their romance is the fact that Aarti Devi is a powerful politician who can face potential political disaster for her re-election if her history is fully known. So the fear of the public’s reaction is constantly pressured on Aarti Devi and her re-election storyline which helps to keep the viewer interested in something other then the romance history storyline.
Performance wise you can get no better from Sanjeev Kumar & Suchitra Sen then their powerful and emotive performances in Aandhi. Being able to portray the feelings of seeing a loved one after so long without much dialogue, only looks and the occasional one liner shows true talent by an actor I think. I think for anyone who is a fan of Gulzar, Sanjeev and Suchitra should put this somewhere up the top of their list. Especially i found Sanjeev Kumar immensely more charismatic and charming in this movie then in Mausam.
Other highlights for the movie are the poetic and soulful songs created by Gulzar. The songs aren’t just there to sell the movie or pass the time, but enhance the mood of the scenes and help the viewer to gain meaningful incite into the character’s thoughts through the meaningful lyrics. My personal favourites were ‘Tere Bina Zingadi Se Koi’ and ‘Tum aa gaye ho, noor aa gaye hai’.
So downsides? It was romantic & emotional, but i wasn’t entirely emotionally moved by their story. I also got bored at times of her re-election campaign, her wanting to be a politician cause her dad pushed her into it i think is not a good enough excuse to do what she did. I personally don’t understand why she sacrificed what she did, well i understand but i don’t like it i guess. Also due to the prevelance of the election campaign i feel they missed out on fully exploring other issues I wanted explored for example (VERY SPOILERY: they don’t even show Aarti devi’s daughter, she gives up her daughter for her career and they don’t even show her reunion with her daughter or anything – i would think that would be one of the first things a mother would want) END SPOILER.
Overall Score: 4/5 Hairy Anil Kapoors – There is a certain beauty to watching the nostalgic exploration of the relationship between Aarti Devi and Sanjeev Kumar, however it might not leave you completely moved. A definite movie recommendation though.