Film Review - Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi

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“The most important film to come out of India in a long, long time” -Shekhar Kapoor
“Indian Cinema’s first great political epic”
-Ashutosh Gowarikar
A film that has been showered with such praise by some of India’s finest filmmakers must surely be an interesting watch. Let’s find out.

The Movie, The Director, The Cast
Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi – A thousand dreams such as these, the title is based on a couplet by renowned Urdu poet Ghalib and it is a story of lives & dreams of three youngsters during the tumultuous times of late 60’s and 70’s, when India was undergoing major social and political upheavals. The cast features Kay Kay Menon, Chitrangada Singh & Shiney Ahuja as the three youngsters. Though relatively unknown at that time, all three shot to fame after the movie, with Shiney Ahuja sweeping almost all awards for the Best Debutant for the year 2006. Directed by Sudhir Mishra and penned by him along with Ruchi Narain & Shiv Kumar Subramaniam, it was released in 2005, and is the most acclaimed work of the famed director till date, whose previous works include movies such as Dharavi (1991), Iss Raat Ki Subah Nahin (1996) and Chameli (2003). It won 2006 Filmfare Best Story Award and was lauded across the globe at prestigious platforms such as the Berlin Film Festival, the Edinburgh Film Festival and the Commonwealth International Film Festival film.

The Plot
The movie begins in 1969, where the protagonists, Siddharth Tyebji (Kay Kay Menon), Geeta Rao (Chitrangada Singh) & Vikram Malhotra (Shiney Ahuja), students in St. Stephens College in Delhi, are leaving college and heading towards their respective goals. Siddharth is son of an ex-judge, born with the proverbial ‘silver spoon’. He has a stong left inclination and believes in use of violence as a means to fight oppression. He is disillusioned with democratic methods of his fathers’ generation and takes to the back roads of Bihar to be a part of Naxalite movement and foment a revolution among the masses against the feudal system and caste based discrimination. Geeta, Siddharth’s girlfriend comes from a relatively less affluent background. She is less politically aware than Siddharth and tries to be a part of his activities, but refuses to join him in his revolutionary ambitions. Vikram, coming from a lower middle class family, is tired of his Gandhian father and wants to earn money and get ahead in the social standing. He is in love with Geeta, which he openly confesses to her but she, being in love with Siddharth treats him just as a friend.

After an introduction of the characters, story cuts to 4 years ahead, year 1973. Siddharth is still in Bihar, fighting oppression & injustice, Geeta has married an IAS officer, who, in her words, has “everything that a woman can ask for” and Vikram has become a political fixer, and has “made a pot of money”. Unable to get over her fist love, Geeta leaves her husband and joins Siddharth in the village he is working in, while Vikram, who is about to get married to a tycoon’s daughter is still as much in love with Geeta as he was before. Two years hence, year 1975, Geeta and Siddharth are still in villages, where Geeta is involved with social welfare of villagers while Siddharth, a Naxalite, is a fugitive from the law. By now, Vikram has become very powerful and rubs shoulders with the top politicians. It is now that the Emergency is imposed by the ruling Congress government. Siddharth & Geeta, being on the other side of law suffer atrocities at the hands of police. Siddharth is injured and captured and is informed that the Police is planning to kill him, which literally breaks him and he just get out of there and save his life, even if it means to abandon the revolution. In an ironic twist, Siddharth’s father requests Vikram to help Siddharth. Vikram, still in love with Geeta goes to Bihar to help him, and in a heart wrenching climax, is charged by police with abetting the revolutionaries, and is...
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