Don’t look away; don’t look away….. Does this lyric remind you of something? Can a movie be this heart warming and soul touching to us? The movie I am talking about is Mr & Mrs.Iyer directed by the award winning. I started adoring/loving/being mad right from the day I watched it first. I wish to watch movies alone in a closed room with no disturbance. I guess this was the first movie I watched that way sometime before 7 – 8 years at my cousin’s room and I must say it was a pleasant watch. After that night, many nights I have dreamt about meeting such a guy in life who is close to the character of Rahul Bose in the movie.
After all this years, why am I suddenly writing about this movie? Coz I love writing about things which I love, about movies which I adore and about persons whom I admire. As it is a very old movie, I shall just give a glimpse of the story and the characters in it, though I cannot finish the blog in fewer words. Raja Choudary, a wild life photographer promises to be of help to a new mother who travels alone in a bus with her kid somewhere in the North East to catch a train to Calcutta. The mother is none other than my favorite Bengali Actress – Konkana Sen Sharma. Meenakshi Iyer (pronounced with a double e) as she is named in the movie is an orthodox Tamil Brahmin who lives with her conservative in-laws. As promised, Raja helps the mother to calm down her hungry crying kid and he is good with kids also apart being a professional photographer.
On the way, the bus stops due to a road diversion. In due course, the scene changes to a river bed where the bus gets halted as there has been a guy killed by some religious fanatics and violence starts protruding in that area. The curfew has been on and the passengers are strictly prohibited to leave the bus. But our photographer gets ready to leave the bus asking Meenakshi to take care of the rest of the journey all by herself. When asked why, he reveals he is not a Hindu as his name says, but his real name is Jehangir and he cannot risk the lives of others by staying inside the bus in the Hindu Locality. Can you imagine what Meenakshi utters when she hears this? “OMG….I drank the water he drank”…. Such an ignorant lady she is but then cursing her stars, she gets into the bus.
Before Rahul aka Raja alias Jehangir gets his bags, a gang force opens the bus and kills an elderly couple. That was really unhuman to kill them just because their names were Khan and Fathima. Mrs.Iyer when approached to reveal her religious identity saves Jehangir by introducing him as Mr.Iyer. Here the story takes a wild turn and gets more than interesting than expected. What made her to do this in a spur of moment? She who repents for drinking water from the same bottle he drank just because he is of a different religion had humanity and respect left with her for a person’s life. Nothing is more important than the life of a person. Is this statement really true? I am not going more into this now.
Coming back to the movie, as the curfew will be for longer time, the passengers walk to a nearby town for a night stay. Since all the available rooms were already full, Mr & Mrs.Iyer get shield in a forest guest house with the help of a patrol police officer. Meenakshi complains that there is only one room and no vegetarian food. Hahaha it was so funny and innocent of her to cry like this in the mid of a forest. I wonder as to whether such people like Meenakshi exist even today? I say this because she is a post-graduate and she cannot act in a silly way after all the intelligence she has got from her religion and from her upbringing. Both of them somehow adjust and manage to make a plan to reach the station to get a train to Calcutta with the help of Police officer. On the night before they start, Meenakshi witness the cruel death of a guy by some violent mob. She gets so panicked and Jehangir comes to her rescue. He is so calm and so caring. Gosh I just love the character of him. The friendship they build during the journey ends in the railway station where the real Mr.Iyer comes to pick up Meenakshi and the movie ends with the lyric – Don’t look away; don’t look away as Jehangir walks bidding bye to both of his new friends.
The scenes at the forest guest house, the acting of Meenakshi when she was asked about their marriage by the co-passengers, the photograph shots taken by Jehangir and to the top of it the minutes spent by them in the train – all were just amazing. Though the movie stresses the violence prevailing and the losing of humanity in the minds of our people, I was just focused on the part played by Konkana and Rahul Bose. They are just too good for the role of co-passengers. The feeling of untrust towards Rahul Bose is just crystal clear in the eyes of Konkana and the love and care she feel from him is just awesome. I love the attitude of Rahul Bose. I wish they both come together again in another such movie.