Tehzeeb is a good movie gone bad. Yes, Khalid Mohamed could have had a clear winner in his kitty had he not wavered in the second half. Despite a wonderful story, excellent characterisation, good dialogues and some fine acting (Urmila Matondkar and Dia Mirza spring a surprise!) Mohamed has turned Tehzeeb into just an above average film by overstretching it for one hour too long. And the music by extraordinary A.R. Rahman is ordinary.
Tehzeeb is the story of Rukhsana Jamal (Azmi), a singer drunk in the fame she has attained. She doesn’t care for her husband (Rishi Kapoor) and two young daughters (Tehzeeb played by Matondkar and Nazneen essayed by Mirza). Her failed businessman husband suspects her of an illicit relationship (shown only through a flip-second image) and creates a scene, which ends in his death.
Their elder daughter Tehzeeb watches it and ‘sees’ her mother with a revolver. She grows up suspecting her mother of her father’s murder. Nazneen grows into a child-woman whom Rukhsana puts in a hospital, to be rescued later by Tehzeeb and her husband Salim (Rampal).
Ruksana’s colourful character builds up with such negative shades in the first half that you almost begin to wonder – what kind of a mother is she? Feminists might feel that a career woman is being assassinated just because she is successful in her career.
However, that is not to be as you discover later. The mother visits Tehzeeb and then the tension between the two unfolds in bits and pieces, through caustic comments, stifled praises and formal acknowledgement of love, till Tehzeeb can’t take it anymore and bursts. The burst carries into the second half and then loses its bite. And so does the film.
Mohamed has proved himself as a storyteller with Sardari Begum, Mammo and Zubeida but sadly, he has punctured Tehzeeb with unnecessary baggage like Diana Hayden, Namrata Shirodkar and endless love scenes between Matondkar and Rampal after interval.
As expected, the movie belongs to Azmi and she is charming as a successful woman. Rampal too has done a good job as a rich author, and a doting husband and brother-in-law.
Tehzeeb is a good step over Fiza for Mohammed, and hopefully, whatever he does next, will deliver more.
NOW PLAYING | MOVIE REVIEWS