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Mr. & Mrs. Iyer
Bollywood Watch
By Shephali J. Rele

Bollywood | Bollywood Preview

In case you missed it, worth a look:
As we mentioned in our inaugural issue, this column will be devoted to telling you about creative films that may not have been blockbuster hits but in case you missed it, worth a look. "Mr & Mrs Iyer," made by Aparna Sen, is one such example. Not your average song-and-dance Bollywood fare, this film falls into a more serious social-drama category.

"Mr & Mrs Iyer" (2003):
Directed by Aparna Sen, Starring Rahul Bose, Konkona Sen and Bharat Kaul.
About 120 minutes.

This film is sure to touch the heart of every viewer with its emotional sensitivity and simple narrative. Aparna Sen's "Mr & Mrs Iyer" is a love story set amid unsettling riots and showcases superb performances from the lead cast, Konkana Sen and Rahul Bose.

The movie starts with a bus journey that has Meenakshi Iyer (Konkona Sen) and her nine-month-old son Santanam onboard. Raja Chowdhary (Rahul Bose), a wildlife photographer is introduced to her through a common friend before boarding the bus and since Meenakshi is traveling alone with her infant, he is asked to keep an eye on mother and child. Everyone on board assumes them to be a couple. Born and brought up in an orthodox Hindu family, Meenakshi is shocked to learn of Raja's Muslim background and tries to maintain her distance.

The initial part of their journey is pleasant but that peace is short-lived as the bus stumbles into a communal riot. An angry mob of Hindu extremists board the bus seeking out all Muslims, avenging the burning of a Hindu village. And since Raja is a Muslim, he is scared but luckily, he gets saved just in time by Meenakshi who thrusts the baby into his arms, calling him her husband, Mr Iyer.

After that, they are forced to leave the bus and since both have no one else to support them, they get drawn together close enough for a special bond to develop between them. While posing as Mr and Mrs Iyer, these two completely different individuals realize that they care for each other despite all their differences. And soon enough, a love story develops between them even though they have nothing much in common. The movie tells their story as they get closer and closer. But nothing can change the fact that Mrs Iyer's real husband is waiting for her at the end of the journey.

The director has managed to inspire brilliant performances from the cast. The cinematography is beautiful. The music by Zakir Hussain is haunting and gels wonderfully with the film.

And even though there are times when it tends to get a bit slow, the movie manages to leave a favorable impression. The climax is the highlight of the film. "Mr and Mrs Iyer" is a must-see for many reasons: the film has an interesting storyline, Sen's storytelling ability is eloquent, but mainly because it is a sensible movie made from the heart. "Mr and Mrs Iyer" is a thought-provoking film. Watch it, you won't be disappointed.

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