Mere Apne

A 1971 Gulzar classic, his first directorial venture, this film is all about Meena Kumari. In a brilliant bravura performance of an aging grandmother, she carries the film entirely on her shoulders. The film captures the angst of the youth in that era with no jobs and frustrated at lack of opportunities in socialist India of those times. on top of a broken down education system. Vinod Khanna and Shatrughan Sinha are two friends turned enemies with their own camp followers. Meena Kumari is a widow staying peacefully in her village, when she is duped by some so called relative to come and work as a maid in their house for no money. Tragedy follows Meena Kumari at every step, from losing her husband at early age, to being duped until she finds some solace in taking care of two orphaned children and then Vinod Khanna and his friends become her confidantes and admirers. The political landscape of that era is the same as today’s – uneducated, illiterate politicians seeking to exploit the voters through illegal means and espousing violence. Gulzar has made a statement with this movie, its a kind of a rebuke of the then government in power. Not much of female interest in the movie, except for one jilted love of Vinod Khanna. One beautiful haunting song by Kishore Kumar (koi hota jisko apna). Ending is very moving and touching.

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