Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sparsh (1980) - Review

Sparsh takes you into the beautiful world of the physically challenged while parallel-y recounting an intricate love story.

Anirudh (Naseeruddin Shah), who is visually impaired and heads an institute for blind children, bumps into Kavita (Shabana Azmi) one day, a widow, who has now taken to home bound activities to fight her loneliness. Their accidental meets one after another soon blossom into a love story.

When Kavita on the insistence of a friend joins Anirudh's institute, to voluntarily teach the children and spend time with them, she finds herself in a whole new world. In them and in Anirudh, she finds a reason to move on, to live.

Kavita is still dealing with the emotional baggage of her past while Anirudh is embroiled in his own complexities that surface as their relationship deepens. 

Anirudh is a man of strong character. He sees himself as capable as any sighted person. He won't be the subject of pity for anyone. But this somewhere bereaves him of love. Of being loved.
But it's interesting to see that the film never lets Anirudh and Kavita's love story take foreground at the cost of its theme, which is at the core of it, from the first shot to the end.

Sparsh helps us look at these blind children like normal beings - how they go about their everyday lives, their aims, ambitions, desires, the issues they face. It doesn't make you look at them with pity; it makes you look at them with adoration and respect.

At the end, Sparsh is as much about good storytelling as about awe-inspiring performances. Naseeruddin Shah excels, to say the least. Playing a blind in the midst of real blind children can be daunting but he is peerlessly convincing. Artists like him are institutions in themselves. Shabana Azmi as the widow carries herself with such grace and poise, she's equally effortless and natural. Their chemistry is sizzling. They redefine romance.

A cult classic and counted among Naseeruddin Shah's best performances, Sparsh is a must watch if you dig good cinema.
Have you seen the film? Your thoughts? Let's talk in the comments below.

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