Na Ghar Ke Na Ghaat Ke

A wide majority of Hindi movies look at urban issues. Right from the outfits to the lingo, there’s no denying that Hindi movies also look at West for inspiration. In real life too, burgers, pizzas, sizzlers and colas have replaced sarson ka saag, dal-roti and sherbat-n-gola. But you do crave for desi food when you keep munching non-desi stuff all the while, don’t you? The fact is, desi stories, with real characters, can never go out of fashion. In fact, a number of present-day film-makers often tell me that they look upon, besides other reputed names, Hrishikesh Mukherjee as an inspiration. On one hand you had Amitabh Bachchan, the reigning superstar of 1970s and 1980s, doing a SHOLAY and an AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY and on the other hand, doing a BEMISAAL and a CHUPKE CHUPKE for Hrishi-da. Debutante director Rahul Aggarwal also, very respectfully, credits his inspiration to Hrishi-da and his first outing NA GHAR KE NA GHAAT KE mirrors the fact at several points of the narrative. The protagonist in the film is like any other non-descript person you set your eyes on the street, who is as helpless as you and me in a life-changing situation. A film like NA GHAR KE NA GHAAT KE ought to have a simple, uncomplicated plotline and actors who can pull off these roles without ‘acting’ those parts. While the writing is interesting at times and wobbly at places [the climax is weak], the set of actors are more or less believable.

Final word? NA GHAR KE NA GHAAT KE may not be that small little gem that sparkles brightly even in the dark, but it’s an earnest effort from a first-time storyteller [Rahul Aggarwal] nonetheless. Devki Nandan Tripathi [Rahul Aggarwal] is a simple, rustic man who decides to try his luck in the city of dreams, Mumbai. He gets a job at the Mausam Vibhaag. In the city, he comes across an array of people who often find his innocence amusing and comical, but Devki realises that they stick with him even in the thickest of bogs that his life hauls him in. The very first sequence of NA GHAR KE NA GHAAT KE sets the mood of the film and you instantly get drawn into the world of Devki Nandan Tripathi. While major portions of the first hour are plain ordinary, it’s the second half that catches your eye. The sequences between Paresh and Rahul are the mainstay of the film and the subsequent arrival of the villagers to prove that Rahul and Narayani are indeed married brings a big smile on your face. But the smile transforms into a frown as the film nears its climax. The chase and the subsequent marriage in the police station premises appears filmi and a complete compromise from the writing point of view. A better culmination to the story would’ve only enhanced the impact. Debutante director Rahul Aggarwal knows the grammar of film-making right, but a little more emphasis on the screenplay would’ve helped enormously. Lalit Pandit’s music is strictly okay. K. Rajkumar’s cinematography is alright. Rahul Aggarwal enacts the pivotal part with conviction. Narayani Shastri does a decent job. Both Paresh Rawal and Om Puri are first-rate. Neena Gupta is wasted. Ravi Kishan carries off the loud character very well. Ananth Mahadevan is alright.

On the whole, NA GHAR KE NA GHAAT KE is a simple film told in the most simplistic manner. Should appeal mainly to those who cherish the Hrishikesh Mukherjee movies of yore.

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