Doosra Aadmi, 1977

Directed by: Ramesh Talwar

I’m hardly in a mood to be nice to any film right now (thank goodness it is Friday, else I’d probably die) but thankfully that mood matches my feelings on Doosra Aadmi.

Put simply this film just rubbed me the wrong way. The characters were all so self-indulgent that they never thought about what their actions were doing to others. As I went watched the movie, and re-watched it a few days later (thinking I would feel more kind), I felt my face fall progressively more and more into a frown.

The main cause for my annoyance was the Karan Saxena(Rishi Kapoor) character. Could anyone be more of a louse? His nonchalance for his actions and his inability to just be a man, suck it up and take responsibility for hurting his wife, Timsi’s (Neetu Singh), feelings were so irritating. Did he honestly think he was innocent? Did he really believe that he could take out to movies and present with jewelry another woman just because she flattered him? True, Karan was young, ambitious and as susceptible to praise as any of us, but just because someone says I’m talented does not mean I’m going to drop everything and concentrate on them only (read: jump his bones)! Surly at some point Karan should have noticed that his actions were separating himself from his wife, but no, his excuse was only this: “even the pretty ones become normal wives after marriage”. Nice.

My other problem was with Nisha (Rakhee Gulzar), a middle-aged woman who’s lover Shashi (Shashi Kapoor) died years ago. Effectively she died with him, but found reason to live again when Karan hires her as an employee in his advertising firm… why? Well, Karan looks and acts like Shashi so she fantasizes that she has her Shash back and flatters and compliments Karan until he’s eating out of her palm (or smoking her cigarette from her mouth whilst slow dancing in a dark room, it’s all the same). When confronted by her friend and forced to see that she is destroying Karan and Timsi’s marriage her response is akin to this: “But what have I done wrong?” Oh, I don’t know…everything? More than a few strong drinks and a pile of cigarettes later, looking very shiny and bloated, she admits that she is no adulterer and resigns from her job with Karan and avoids him. Thank goodness!
Since the film is titled “The other man” instead of “the other woman” I assume that I was supposed to sympathize with Nisha and her sad story of mourning and psychological problems… but I can’t. I. Just. Can’t. While it is an interesting twist to the idea of an affair/love triangle/whatever I just cannot get behind it. Perhaps that is my own failing, my own inexperience in life… I don’t know. All I know is that the only person I feel sorry for is Timsi. Poor Timsi got a raw deal, and when she finally confronted her husband she got smacked across the face and his defiant “I’m not going to say sorry” for it.
Ugh.
Despite my rather sullen attitude to this film, I enjoyed it and actually did like it. It’s one of those films that I hate to love. (Oh, I’m such a study in duality!)
There were endearing moments, such as an opening Holi bit (I love Holi!)the courtship and honeymoon of Timsi and Karan (especially when the camera panned away from the bed and the lights switched “on”. Oh, that made me giggle), the all-consuming power of the Rishi/Neetu chemistry, wicked sunglasses (I think I own most of the ones in the film, actually…), Rishi sulking when Timsi goes away (pre-shaadi) and his room is full with a agonized-lover vapor (wtf?), super cute music, and Shashi Kapoor* acting wild and reckless.

 

I don’t think I’m done with this film… I’m not writing it off and I’m not rushing to Netflix it again, but I’ll defiantly come back from time to time; see how life changes me and if it alters my reception of the film.

*This movie taught me the correct pronuciation of Shashi’s name. I’m not going to tell you what I was saying before, just be content with knowing it was mind-blowingly wrong! ;)

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