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Sharib Hashmi In Darbaan Is Heartwarming In A Way Rarely Seen

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Sharib Hashmi In Darbaan Is Heartwarming In A Way Rarely Seen 4

Darbaan(Zee5)

Starring  Sharib Hashmi, Sharad Kelkar, Rasika Dugal, Flora Saini and Harsh Chhaya

Directed  by Bipin Nadkarni

Rating: ****

There is something  about Rabindranath Tagore’s stories that lends itself to great cinema. Darbaan is not  a great  film. But it’s a very good piece of cinema.Artistically  imagined and gently executed,  it has  the very accomplished Sharib Hashmi playing a simple caregiver in a feudal family( the story is  translocated from the end of zamindari to the takeover of  the coalmines in  Dhanbad in the early 1970s) whose life is a litany of  subservience.

Hashmi immerses  himself  in the role with a furious passion that reminded  me of Ashok  Kumar in Hrishikesh  Mukherjee’s Aashirwaad. Sharib Hashmi is   a great  actor destined to  secrete his  greateness in  small  meaningful  films while  actors  with not even a grain of his talent are strutting around as stars in  Bollywood.

 Without moving away from the plot’s main thrust, director  Bipin Nadkarni draws a complex yet crystal-clear and artfully heartfelt picture of the  complex relationship between  an aristocratic family and its most favourite caregiver(also called  ‘servant’, ‘domestic help’ and in this  otherwise-sensitive  film ghulam).

It’s  an  epic story  compressed into  90 minutes of unadulterated emotions.Taking the original Tagore story(Khokababur Pratyabartan)  out of  its  natural habitat could have proven disastrous .Not  here.  Not  in this  thoughtful remake. The  adaptation is  illuminated by flashes of brilliance,  for example the original story involves  the tragic death  of the Zamindar’s  beloved son. Here  it  is  the  Zamindar’s  grandson.

Sharib Hashmi projects  the  goodhearted  Raicharan’s  grief and guilt with  such fluid lucidity  that I  found myself  completely invested in  the character and in  the film’s dramatic  emotions that are  done up with finesse. Though  at  times  the  direction gets a little clunky and some of  actors seem  amateurish when pitched again the great central performance, the sheer emotional heft of  the story takes the characters  and  the film across the turbulent river of life’s bizarre vicissitudes .

Besides Sharib Hashmi,  the film has a very tender and  endearing  cameo performance by the unfailingly credible Rasika Duggal as  his wife. But the  film is owned by Hashmi who gives  a performance comparable  with , if not better than the great Uttam Kumar in the original 1060  Bengali film based  on the same story.

Sharad Kelkar has a brief role that echoes  Vinod Mehra’s  character in Shakti Samanta’s Amar Prem, my most favourite  Hindi film of  all times.This is  the highest compliment I can think of for  Darbaan. Don’t miss it.And  don’t forget to keep your handkerchief closeby.

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