Pinjar Hindi Movie Review

Feature Film
Sep 15, 2003 By IANS

Pinjar proves that a movie based on India-Pakistan relations has much more to offer than the repetitive Pak bashing dialogues or a heroic Indian making mincemeat of some deceitful Pakistanis. An adaptation of Amrita Pritam's novel by the same name, Pinjar meaning skeleton in Punjabi has a beautiful body and soul.

With a formal prologue in Gulzar's voice, the movie transfers you into the Pre-Partition period detailing the rivalry between Sheiks and the Shahs. The movie narrates the story of Puro (Urmila Matondkar) who shares an excellent bonding with his Congress activist brother Trilok (Priyanshu Chatterjee) and is engaged to Ramchand (Sanjay Suri). But just before her marriage, a Muslim - Rashid (Manoj Bajpai), kidnaps the Hindu girl to avenge the family rivalry since generations. And though Puro once succeeds in escaping Rashid, her parents refuse to accept her assuming that her honor has already been tainted. Subsequently Puro is forced to marry her captor and turn a Muslim. Trilok still longs for his sister and neglects his new wife (Sandali Sinha). The flaring up of the partition riots adds to the confusion as the families are forced to desert their homes. Tension prevails in the latter reels till the movie comes to a Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam dejà vu end.

The sub plots of Puro adopting a lunatic women's child, who is soon separated from her by the religious heads or Trilok setting aflame Rashid's fields are equally well developed. Pinjar portrays the extra element of a conflict between Hindus and Muslims with the required sensitivity.

The cinematography by Santosh Thunidiyil is pleasantly intoxicating with rich orange-yellow layers dominating the frames. The music by Uttam Singh has a strong Punjabi essence, which though does not appeal on individual listening, does goes in sync with the mood of the film. But like any other Hindi film, obviously a couple of songs could have been surely chopped off. Muneesh Sappel´s art direction and costume design are authentic and the attention given to detail in recreating the Pre-Independence ambiance is laudable. The look and feel of the film is fabulous. Dialogues at instances make solid sense and the riot action sequences are brilliantly executed.

Director Chandra Prakash Dwivedi (who crafted the sensible TV series Chanakya almost a decade back) succeeds in extracting superlative performances from the entire cast. Urmila Matondkar adds life to her character of Puro. Suffering as a victim of circumstances throughout the film she involves you emotionally. Emotions that bring a lump to your throat! She also succeeds in bringing a momentary smile on your face while playing a local salesgirl (though just in a couple of scenes) in the second half of the film. Bajpai puts in a very sincere and restrained act (not hamming like in his past few films - Aks, Road). Speaking through his eyes and expressions, this surely is his best performance since his debut film, Satya. Priyanshu, Sanjay Suri and Sandali Sinha give the best performance of their career. Priyanshu is a real surprise (getting over the lover boy image from his past films) and gains your sympathy as a helpless brother genuinely concerned for his sister. The ethereal beauty, Sandali gets good scope towards the latter half of the film. Sadly Isha Koppikar is sort of wasted.