Hamare Baarah Movie Review Rating:

Star Cast: Annu Kapoor, Ashwini Kalsekar, Manoj Joshi, Paritosh Tripathi, Rahul Bagga, Aditi Bhatpahri, Ankita Dwivedi, Abhimanyu Singh

Director: Kamal Chandra

Kamal Chandra’s Hamare Baarah offers Strong Message In Stretched Narration
Kamal Chandra’s Hamare Baarah offers Strong Message In Stretched Narration(Photo Credit –YouTube)

What’s Good: Hard-hitting drama about how religious teachings must remain in sync with times, and though the religion here is Islam, it applies to all faiths.

What’s Bad: A stretched narration that sometimes defies logic itself!

Loo Break: No!

Watch or Not?: If you are unbiased and progressive, yes. Though it is probably more instructive to those who are not if it can help them develop the right mindset.

Language: Hindi

Available On: Theatrical release

Runtime: 148 Minutes


User Rating:

Set in Lucknow, Hamare Baarah details the family travails of 60-year-old Manzoor Ali Khan Sanjari (Annu Kapoor), who has lost a wife during childbirth. He has since married Rukhsar (Ankita Dwivedi) and is hell-bent on making his new wife pregnant—for the sixth time, despite medical warning that she might die if she continues with the pregnancy. He already has 11 kids and he is not able to really look after them in a financial sense. His daughter Alfia (Aditi Bhatpahri) decides to rebel and finally files a court case against Manzoor to coerce her stepmom to terminate the risky pregnancy.

Kamal Chandra’s Hamare Baarah offers Strong Message In Stretched Narration
Kamal Chandra’s Hamare Baarah offers Strong Message In Stretched Narration(Photo Credit –YouTube)

Hamare Baarah Movie Review: Script Analysis

Rajan Agarwal’s script means well, isn’t anti-Muslim or anti-Islam, but in fact, addresses the fact that Islam is continuously being misinterpreted by some of its own proponents out of selfish or vested interests. These influencers provoke simple-minded Muslims to toe the wrong paths (as shown by a poor Muslim vociferously opposing the false depiction of his religion in a very well-conceived sequence) and keep them away from socioeconomic progress and higher education.

Graphically, the lawyer (Manoj Joshi) defending the regressive father himself has only two children from one wife. While the son is highly educated and well-settled abroad, the daughter is on the way to becoming a doctor.

With this very characterization, the script underscores the hypocrisy and irony of such a man defending his client against a progressive daughter’s demand for her stepmother’s safety.

But that said, the script drags interminably after the halfway mark, probably just to show that even someone like Manzoor, programmed since childhood, can see the light later. The film should have ended more than 20 minutes before it does, once Aafreen has demolished all the defense arguments. But the writer and director choose to bring in fresh convolutions (like the attempt to make Rukhsar a loose woman who sleeps with other men!). The final statement by the judge also seems to make the whole story pointless, as he asks Rukhsar herself to make the key decision: if that was the intention, why was there a case at all?

The film, except for the judge and the gynaecologist, features only Muslim characters, showing that the community has a humongous number of progressive members as well.

Hamare Baarah Movie Review: Star Performance

Annu Kapoor is the heart and soul of the film and is totally convincing as the amoral (in the final analysis!) Manzoor. He is a qawwal sans qualms about true morals and humanity, who treats women as objects, throttles his children’s ambitions and generally behaves like a dictator. He looks almost like a predatory animal whenever he encounters rebellion—in one word, he is awesome.

He gets formidable competition from Ashwini Kalsekar, as Aafreen, the conscientious lawyer who is fighting against him. Best known for her comic turns in Rohit Shetty movies, the immensely versatile actress once again reminds us of her sheer range. Manoj Joshi as the defense counsel hams, and his accented Hindi jars as he is made to speak long dialogues with legal as well as Urdu terms galore.

Commendable performances come from Paritosh Tripathi as Shahnawaz, Kritika as his wife, and mainly Aditi Bhatpahri as Alfia. Rahul Bagga’s performance as Shoaib seems a shade weak in some confrontation scenes but is otherwise competent. Ankita Dwivedi as Rukhsar does not make the needed impact as her character is weakly written. Udayvir Singh Yadav makes for an effective judge whenever he asserts himself. Aditi Dhiman is a shade raw as Zareen, the wannabe singer, but Ishlin Prasad scores as Shaheen. I liked the low-profile persona of the progressive shop-owner, portrayed by Sharad Raj Singh, but the actor playing Aafreen’s husband was quite dull.

Kamal Chandra’s Hamare Baarah offers Strong Message In Stretched Narration
Kamal Chandra’s Hamare Baarah offers Strong Message In Stretched Narration(Photo Credit –YouTube)

Hamare Baarah Movie Review: Direction, Music

As a director, Kamal Chandra does a fairly skilled job, but he should have really thought of ironing out the flaws in the script. His command over a straight, non-(technically) gimmicky narration heightens the drama and his use of songs is commendable. Let us not forget that it is the director who extracts performances from his actors after the script fleshes out the characters.

In particular, I would look at the sequences in which Manzoor compels Rukhsar to sleep with him even though she is unwell; the rickshaw chase where Alfia and Shoaib are taking Zareen to Mumbai for the audition; the entire rebellion sequence of Shahnawaz’s wife and, last but not the least, Aafreen’s outburst against her smug husband when he wants her to leave the case just because hardliners target them.

The songs composed variously by Bishakh Jyoti, Annu Kapoor and a third name I missed, are in tune with the film’s needs and used in the time-honored but now neglected fashion of situational lip-synched songs. Annu also has a hand in writing lyrics and singing and it seems that his long association with music shows has helped him in this department.

The qawwalis have the right tenor and the lyrics are serviceable: within the film, they are written by Shabnam (Naaz Khan), Manzoor’s daughter, who anonymously posts them to her father so that her creative aspirations are fulfilled! The background score by Bishakh Jyoti is generally good too.

Hamare Baarah Movie Review: The Last Word

The film is as much about women’s empowerment as, say, a Laapataa Ladies, but since the treatment is entirely serious and not in the realm of satire and humor, a great emphasis should have been laid on logic in the script. If Pakistan can make progressively anti-religious fanaticism movies like Khuda Kay Liye and Bol, indeed Indians should not dismiss this film.

Three stars!

Hamare Baarah Trailer

Hamare Baarah released on 21st June, 2024.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. moterhfucker make movie hindus gods hows brahmma got mrried his daugter and pandav married one women, and how krishna make romance his gopikas s………..

    • Don’t make your language as filthy as the market the filmmakers are pandering to, or allegedly publication’s management. “👎🏾” for this reason.

  2. If you are not aware of Islam, please don’t defame it. If The woman may die if pregnant, it is mot permissible in Islam to get pregnant, because living matters more than producing children,
    Please edit your review or delete it.

    • That is covered by the “misinterpretation” part. Regardless.. This film is certainly problematic but that’s not on this publication, even if it’s Koimoi®.

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