38. Baghban (2003) — I’m just glad the filmmaker didn’t name Pooja Maholtra … Simran, if you know what I mean. Would have suffered a heart attack especially after this exchange between a certain Mr Raj Maholtra (a compelling Amitabh Bachchan) and his wife:
“Do you trust me?”
“More than I trust myself.”
“Do you love me?”
“More than you love yourself!”
(From the movie’s subtitles, hor)
The audience seems to be made to ponder, among other things, on what “happily ever after” really means. Even if you share a legendary love, your children may be sore disappointments (their names literally “stinking for a thousand years”, according to one Chinese saying). Nothing’s guaranteed, not your children’s love nor your spouse’s enduring presence. On another note, I’m quite surprised by Raj Maholtra’s stance at the end of the picture, though it actually saves us from a sticky sweet ending and gives even more room for thought. Many lessons to be learnt from this one, and of those, quite a few you can apply in your life right away. This is my first AB-headliner, I’m looking forward to more. And how weird is it that AB Jr’s wife in Dhoom plays a … teenager here?! And that kid from Kaho Naa … Pyar Hai is in it too. And man, how good is it to see Mahima Choudhary in action again!!
In other news, congratulations to Harold Pinter, the Nobel Prize in Literature Laureate for 2005.