Raincoat Film Review By Aumaparna
I had been commenting on this movie based on hearsay , but after watching the movie myself, I understood what the great saints and seers have always said – “Believe in only your eyes, ears, nose , tongue and skin …I mean know about the thing properly and then pass a judgment …use all your senses in order to understand –basically be sensible !”
Well I am going to click on “Yes” – when I’ll be asked by MS (mouthshut.com) whether I recommend this movie to others or not. I recommend it – if you watch the movie with my perceptive ..as stated below.
It’s the story of Mother India. Ashwairya has been shown here as Mother India.
Ajay Devgan – the true lover of Mother India – the kind of “Freedom Fighters” – who only knew that they love India and have to set her free from slavery. Only drawback that they had was lack of position, knowledge, publicity, power….basically all that is required to sort out any situation without so much unnecessary blood shed, pain, hurt, tears. He tries his level best by being himself. Simple and truthful. No showy attitude, a decent man who knows his limits and does not take advantage of Ash even when he had all the opportunity.
Ash’s husband is a typical fraud – into Marketing ,some product or something to that effect – who is selfish, liar, cheat and disgusting in real life. Makes money and friends and foes only by lying – kind of a bat – neither an animal nor a bird – wants to have the best of both worlds – sells a product for the Company, promises good after sale service to the consumer – meets his targets and forgets both in order to join some better deal…Selfish. Company makes such people work by giving them incentives like once a year going abroad with family on a holiday – keeping that as a major incentive , the marketing guys work day in and day out !(this Ash tells Ajay while conversing with him btw. – liar husband must be boasting and showing her dreams of a better future)
Through selfish means , he makes money though – Indian Parents seek only Financial security for daughters. Blindly they give away their daughters by seeing the Financial status ! Nothing else ! Why? Because males, in India , are still considered as diamonds….and females – stone chips- those which are required to build a house/roads etc. So even if a male has an awfully bad reputation in the locality or neighborhood, he gets married and continues with his flamboyancy and flirtatiousness …since he is a diamond !! and the wife has to keep mum as he is her Lord Husband – Pati Paremeshwar !!
The above situation still exists in India…and in Wes Bengal – oh! Of course ! in 70% of the families!!
Ajay pays a visit to childhood love (Ash) which could not be consummated into marriage because of Ajay’s unemployment.
Flash back shows that Ajay premonition-nically gets high fever and Ash , on Diwali festival tells him of her engagement to a rich, working, 6 feet tall fellow who had given her diamond ring for engagement – she confesses that she could not stop it this time as everything was perfect (although she had not seen her to be husband)- she was getting married to please her parents basically – they were aging and society norms in India is such that they snigger and sneer at parents who are unable to get their daughter married !
Ajay is heart broken very badly – his friends get him out of his calamity.
The film starts with Ajay meeting one of his friends (one of who had helped Ajay out of his heart break). Ajay’s friend is shown in a flat with all the basic amenities – refrigerator, microwave , geyser, dinning table with butter, cheese ..basically all that makes life comfortable and of course an educated and decent, soft spoken, kind and understanding & docile wife.
Ajay (from Bhagalpur, UP or MP, I do not know) is visiting Kolkata to get some loan from his friends so that he can start business. He is carrying the address of Ash (who lives with her husband in Kolkata) in his pocket and shows the interest of meeting her just once – much to his friend’s annoyance . Since it was a rainy season, he was given the raincoat which actually belonged to Ajay’s friend but was being used by their driver Gopi. He accepts it showing disregard to class, status, rich – poor etc.
Ajay’s friend’s wife (hereinafter called AFW), makes his stay comfortable in every respect – a woman who was otherwise shown very happy and comfortable with her life has a past which Ajay can understand. He asked her a question ‘why does a girl cry so much when she leaves her parents…is it for parents or something else?” – they exchange an understanding glance which indicates that she was also in love with someone else before her marriage but got married elsewhere (to his friend ie.) instead. Meaning: material comfort and peace of heart & soul are two different things.
He reaches Ash’s house – rings the bell – she opens it – no look of surprise or happiness, under eye dark circles, saree worn somehow. Said that she was asleep.
Follow the points given below :
1. Its dark inside Ajay asks her to put on the light – she goes inside and tries to put on generator as there is no light. When Ajay asked about the “calling bell” ringing, – she says that then it must be some phase gone kaput coz’ of rain.
2. Ajay asks her about servants – she says both the servants go as soon as it is afternoon to play cards – since she sleeps in the afternoon, she does not miss them much…then adds that how much ever you pamper the servants – she also bought them a TV – they seldom want to work.
3. The drawing room is full of old wooden furniture – which ash explains that rich and famous people do not let go of antiques very easily so she has to co-exist with them!
4. Someone rings the bell but she does not open herself nor does she allow Ajay to open it as people in the neighborhood might report to her suspicious husband that his wife was alone in the afternoon with a man. Moreover salesman and girls come to disturb or even thieves might come and rob her !
5. About husband – she says that he is often touring around Japan or Germany, she does not accompany him coz’ she is bored of such things – she is afraid that she might get locked in the Airplane toilet and would be embarrassed. Husband loves her a lot and pampers her and keeps her very happy! The AC is in the bedroom.
6. She makes tea for him herself and asks for his raincoat so that she can get some food for him from outside – as she is under strict diet and is only allowed to have “Khichidi”.
She goes out to the shop and Ajay opens the windows to let some air in. suddenly a man with umbrella (anu Malik) asks him to open the door as he was badly in need to go to the loo. Reluctantly ajay opens the door . the man then asks ajay for a cigarette – and makes himself comfortable in the house much to ajay’s surprise. The stranger (was the same one who had rung the bell) makes totally shocking revelations as follows:
1. its dark inside the house coz’ hey have not been paying the electricity bill . they have not paid the house rent for over 12 months now. Husband is a fraud – was working when he got married but since he is basically a showy cheat & liar, company kicks him out every time.
2. the old furniture is basically a godown to film/serial shooting and does not belong to them.
3. a battery operated bell is what they use. Husband comes home late , drunk every night and wife Ash opens the door. They live hand to mouth!
4. The stranger is actually the land lord who thought that ash has sub let-ed his house and is earning money by sub letting space! He then takes Ajay to show the toilet condition which is pathetic – moss smitten walls, broken soap cakes & case and dirty toilet (a sight very very common in kolkata – the people do not believe in living in clean conditions – they spit, piss just about anywhere – and have zero civic sense).
Ajay then sees inside the rooms and the scene is heart wrenching! dirty, broken utensils, unused toaster, cockroaches in kitchen drawers – lungi hanging, dust smitten & dirty bedroom!
Here is where I equated the life of Ash as Mother India’s status – just This – she has everything for the outer world to see (drawing room) but nothing for her own self – as her true lovers (ajay kinds) are confused, unconfident (in bengal they are unconfident coz’ of lack of spoken English) basically failure and people who have taken her responsibility (ash’s husband) is a fraud, cheat, drunkard and liar – marketing India falsely..and teaching Indians to lie just about everything – living in the world of make belief – films, serials and advertisements- which are windows to the nation show absolute nonsense and is miles away from reality & truth!
A touching scene : after eating the grub that ash bought from outside, ajay gets up to go to the toilet to wash hands but is quickly stopped by ash and ash says that in big hotels one uses finger bowls – so she gets one bowl filled with water for him to wash his hands!
And people who saw it said that it’s a remake of “Gift of Magi” ! is that all that they saw !! I must congratulate Director Ritoporno here for once at least…although I did not have a very high opinion about him before….his movies are way too slow moving.
Gift of Magi – why? Because in the raincoat pocket, ash finds out about ajay’s need for money and tugs in her “possibly last piece of jewellery” and ajay , in the meanwhile, after hearing the shocking revelations from the land lord and later, checking the scenario himself, pays the rent for 3 months ie. Rs. 12,000/- that he had collected for himself for the business and requests the landlord not to throw her out of the house.
One more aspect that came out here was the fact that even ajay lied about – having a secretary, being a TV serial director, having a flat with marble floor etc…(he was speedily learning the ways of the world ) shows that maximum people in India (esp. west Bengal) just dream but do not have the capacity to manifest their dreams – very few of them succeed – and then they go and settle abroad –as they cannot stand the sight of dirty open drains, people pissing and spitting all over , lazy, un-smart, uncouth ,loser people with severe attitude problem. SO this also shows that ajay could not arrive anywhere in life and the fact that even if he had got married to ash, she would have been on more or less the same boat …as far as physical luxuries and comfort is concerned ! so this movie showed that men are losers in more than one ways.
1. Loser Ajay –could not get his lady love, could not arrive anywhere in life – remained in financial crunch all his life. was it because of loss of love? would ash have made any difference? Well they had been friends for 8 years – if he loved her and wanted her, he should have not left any stone unturned to arrive somewhere in life and win his lady love. No parent would ever give his daughter away to an unemployed aimless man. Since Ash is shown here as an uneducated village belle – even she could not positively counsel & encourage and stand by him. She was more interested to go and watch an Adult movie with him and was keen on seducing him by changing in front of him with just a net curtain drawn..she even asked him to help him button her shirt (kameez) button !
2. Loser Ajay’s friend – in spite of having all the luxuries in life, was leading his life with a wife who never loved him but was living under the same roof with him as a compromise…she was acting all the 24 hours ie.
3. Looser Ash’s husband – a cheat, liar, fraud, showy rolling stone who gathered no moss in life….or gathered volatile moss which vanished like the RAM memory.
4. Loser Men – old & young : the pile up of old wooden furniture and the eventual dirt accumulated in Ash’s drawing room showed that India still is made to co-exist with age old superstitions & rituals etc. which has no relevance in the present time and is just occupying unnecessary space in Mother India’s hard disc…should we not shift+delete it dear Indians?
As far as Indian women are concerned, they are silently gulping down poison ,still illiterate & romantically inclined, seeking security from men when men have failed them in more than one ways – as stated above. Even when she is supposedly educated, still she is compromising (refer AFW’s character – a decent educated compromising wife with all the modern gadgets available but basically unhappy and feels loveless with a husband working in a cut throat business of selling slots for TV serials)