Truth- it may mean something for me, while for you it could be totally something else. It is like one man’s freedom fighter is other man’s terrorist. We all have our bias, prejudices and our truth is based on the prism of our experiences. Ankhon Dekhi is one such film, which explores the travails of a man who has to unlearn and look at his ideology towards end of his life.
Set in old Delhi, Rajat Kapoor manages to create a perfect atmosphere of Delhi. Very rarely do we see Indian filmmaker getting atmosphere of the film right. Bauji (Sanjay Mishra) who belongs to a middle class family in Delhi has his own Eureka moment one day. He decides to trust only things which he has experienced or has seen. This decision affects not him but also his family, neighbours and his colleagues. In the process he also earns a legion of followers who are hooked to each and every word coming out of his mouth.
What makes the film interesting is the filmmaker’s integrity and honesty, it is almost like reading someone’s diary. More so when your central character is as enigmatic as someone as Bauji, full marks to Rajat for creating empathy for the character among the audience.
It is interesting how Rajat narrates this tale of a common man, who wants to break away from the confines of society but while he is still well staying in the same society. Had he been enlightened like Buddha, he would not have to sit at home, which makes this character more interesting.This man is trying to find the truth according what he thinks is the way to do so.
What makes this film extraordinary are little scenes which reflect and gives us glimpse into life of this man. The scene where he calls his wife to sit beside him is such a beautifully filmed romantic scene, here’s a man who wants his wife to sit beside him and spend time with him. Such little scenes enhance the film and take it to higher level. It was refreshing to see Matheran on screen, such a pristine place. And yes it is great to see Delhi in such a new color, it almost feels like a character, I was transported back to my summers in Delhi.
Many people think that the ending of the film is abrupt, but I strongly disagree with that. The beauty of the climax is that we can interpret it our own way, based on our experiences. I do not think as an audience we need to find and decode a message in every film, as long as you enjoy it and find your own truth and over here Rajat has succeed as a director I feel.
Ankhon Dekhi is easily one of the best Hindi films of the decade, it is Rajat’s best film till date I would say. If you have not watched it, I would strongly recommend you to watch this movie. As Bauji says “Satya tu kitna Khoobsurat hai” (Satya (Truth), you are so beautiful). Ankhon Dekhi is one such film when filmmaker is truthful to his craft, go WATCH IT.
DVD Bonus Features- the DVD comes with English Subtitles. It features a brief making of the film, which I feel does not do justice to such a great piece of cinema. I wish it could have been more detailed. The DVD features 17 deleted scenes, which ties up some loose ends in the film. The picture quality of the DVD is good, only problem I had was with sound, wish they had Dolby Digital 5.1 option with DVD.
Ankhon Dekhi DVDs are available at all large format stores, large bookstores and online stores – DVD for INR 299/- and VCD for INR 115/-. The VoD (Pay-per-view) will be priced at USD 1.99 and be available for streaming across the Globe.