|Produced By||R. Venkataraman|
|Directed By||K. Balachander|
|Music By||Laxmikant - Pyarelal|
|Kamal Hasan||Anita Raj|
|Karan Razdaan||Arjun Chakraborty|
|Mazhar Khan||Dr. Sriram Lagoo|
Click HERE for a complete listing of Cast & Crew
Zara Si Zindagi is the remake of Balachander's Tamil hit Varumayin Niram Sivappu which had Kamal Hasan and Sridevi in the lead roles. Kamal Hasan plays the role of an unemployed graduate living in Delhi with his two room mates (Karan Razdan and Arjun Chakraborty). He falls in love with a struggling theater actress, Kusum (played by Anita Raj) who is also leading a life of difficulties having to take care of an ailing grandmother and an alcoholic father (played by Nilu Phule). The movie is a flowing account of the various hardships the characters go through and presents a grim view of the urban unemployment of the decade of 80s.
I had become a fan of this film ever since I saw it for the first time on cable television. Set in a simplistic backdrop of Delhi of the early 80s, this film captivates with its subtle situations and brilliant performances. I guess the greatest strength of this movie is its story telling. There is an undertone of grave sarcasm in the portrayal of the unemployed men and at the socio-economic and the political scenario of the nation. I, in particular like the scene where the three men have a fake lunch and make a lot of noise and the shot towards the end where Kamal Hasan picks up an apple from the dustbin and bites into it. Even in the shots where you just have the three friends sitting, there is one thing or the other in the backdrop that makes you smile at the sarcastic note in the situation.
The character of Rakesh has a shade of raw arrogance to it that is beautifully portrayed by Kamal Hasan. He shines as an unemployed protagonist who braves all situations relentlessly with a never say die attitude. Be it a scene where Rakesh confronts his father or where he argues with Pratap (Mazhar Khan), Kamal Hasan delivers with equal ease and panache. I guess the only place he actually looks to falter is with his thick accent when attempting to recite a few verses (which he does at multiple points in the film).
If Kamal Hasan delivers with visible exultant power, Anita Raj flows throughout as a gentle stream binding the entire film. I don’t think she has looked as pretty in any of her other films that I have come across. She excels with her subtle beauty and does well in her scenes to reach out with conviction. Karan Raazdan, Arjun Chakraborty, Nilu Phule and Dr. Sreeram Lagoo render the necessary support to the overall frame of the film and do well in their screen space.
The music is by the duo Laxmikant -Pyarelal who were probably the best in trade at the time when the film was shot. However, apart from the song ‘Zamaane se kuch log darte nahi’ the music is largely disappointing. The other song ‘School se college..’ shot on locations in Delhi gives you a glimpse of the city 3 decades ago and is enjoyable to look at but not really something you can hum later. Overall, just an average music plate.
Catch the song here:
Overall a 4 out of 5 attempt, the film excels on its simplistic story line and is a must watch if you are a Kamal Hasan fan.
PS: The movie is available on YouTube, in case you wish to watch it. You can buy a copy at Moserbaer’s website as well.