Free Press Journal

Anuradha: Un-enticing TV soap styled narration


Film: Anuradha

Cast: Disha, Raju Mavani, Sachin Khedekar, Shagun, Smita Jayakar,  Aakash Sharma, Hrishita Bhatt, Kishori Sahane,

Manoj Joshi, Prashant, Rahul Jain

Director: Raju Mavani

Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s 1960’s movie top-lining Balraj Sahni and the stunningly ethereal Leela Naidu with the same title, was a resounding treatise on society-way ahead of its times. This Raju Mavani directed ‘Anuradha’ while having no connection to the original, tries to be yet another febrile platitude to gender bias, and is way behind today’s times.

The story is something straight out of a sixties melodrama where the evil mother-in-law and sister-in-law combine to make life hell for the sweet, non-reactive, dutiful daughter-in-law. 

Rudra (Manoj Joshi) is a lion heart away from home but inside his house, he has absolutely no voice. Yet he decides on the comely daughter, Anuradha (Disha), of his friend, Masterji (Sachin Khedekar), as the suitable bride for his son Avinash, from his dearly departed first wife. His second wife (Kishori Shahane) makes it clear in no uncertain terms that she will be the one to decide as before their marriage, he had committed to allow her free reign in every decision concerning their lives. Their daughter (Hrishita Bhatt) is allowed to go wild without any check on her.

Avinash decides to marry Anuradha and promises to be her bulwark but tragedy in the form of an accident makes Anuradha rather helpless. Her mother dies from the shock and Anuradha is given the reins of her in-laws property and money. A few outings with her childhood friend help label her a loose woman. The rest of the film concentrates on nullifying that massive lack mark on her pure as snow character!

This is a ludicrous story- one that will leave you wondering how anyone in this day and age could come up with such incredulous circumstance. It’s of course meant to be a social entertainer with a message. But the film has neither believable characters, plotline nor engaging treatment to salvage it. The script is hopelessly out-dated and would not have found favour even in the 1940’s.

The treatment (Raju Mavani’s helming) is so un-enticing that you feel completely enervated by the end of it all. The TV soap styled narration, the unpleasantly rendered music and the stiff as cardboard performances add more woes to the experience. There’s really no silver lining in this dark cloud!