On the 9th January ’11, I saw one of the best yet underrated critically acclaimed movies of 2010 ‘Do Dooni Chaar’ by a debutante director Habib Faisal, on TV – Such an evocative portrayal of the lives of the middle-class, their dreams, their trials & tribulations, their moral dilemmas, their insecurities, and so on. It was such an endearing sight to see the most wonderfully cute on-screen & offs-screen couple Rishi Kapoor & Neetu Singh, back on the silverscreen after an extremely long hiatus of about 3 decades. The basic premise centered around the Duggals’ family’s dream/goal of buying a car before a certain point of time, to honor their vow impulsively taken in front of their neighbors, to keep up with the Joneses’, so to say. Mr. Duggal, who’s you average lower middle class honest school teacher, struggles to make ends meet; and in his quest for getting the money to pay for the car, almost falls prey to unscrupulous means / temptation(s) coming along the way. His youngest school going son’s character succumbed to betting money on cricket matches, to have a lavish lifestyle covertly & entertain his girlfriend; up until when the other gang members are apprehended, subsequently leading him to finally realize his follies & seek forgiveness from his family. The young daughter’s character is shown as the one who’s frustrated by her family’s modest economic stature as compared to her peers at college, and feels an inferiority complex at her two-wheeler wielding father whose occupation is as an insignificant teaching one; up until the climax of the movie, when a teacher’s unappreciated role in character-building is acknowledged by Duggal Sir/Master’s ex-students & a current student’s guardians. I really felt connected with almost everything portrayed in this flick – E.g. the middle class characters & their middle-class high virtuous lives; expectations of exhibiting material possessions, even going to the extent of spending beyond one’s means, just to keep up; or my mother also being a teacher, and me also feeling slightly embarrassed by my parents’ small minion jobs; my pa’s little yellow Priya scooter (which we sold off, sadly without any photo as a piece of remembrance, to a scrap dealer, to make way for our new car’s parking) etc.
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