Sunday, May 13, 2007

Refugee (2000) - Abhishek's debut

Continuing our tribute to the newlywed Bachchans we take a look back at Abhishek's debut film, Refugee. The pressure on him when this film opened must have been just incredible for the simple reason that his performance would not be compared to other actors. No, it would be compared to arguably the most popular Bollywood actor ever, his father - Amitabh Bachchan. Adding to the hype would be the fact that the film would also be the debut for none other than Raj Kapoor's granddaughter, Kareena Kapoor. The result? A solidly entertaining movie that received mixed reviews but proved that both stars had some solid acting chops, genetics maybe? The movie also did quite well at the Filmfare Awards that year - winning for best debut performance (Kareena), best dialogue, best cinematography and best song which is one of the selections for this week.

I really enjoyed this movie for many reasons including the fact that it had a very different story, incredible cimematic shots, great performances by all involved and of course - fantastic songs. Abhishek did an admirable job of carving out his own style of acting, reminding us of his father but using his own abilities to make the role his own. Kareena was a real eye opener as well - she portrayed quiet grace and dignity that far surpassed the fact that this was her first movie. Also, Sunil Shetty finally acted for once and gave some real substance to the character of the Pakistani policeman with a strong moral backbone (a rarity in Bollywood where caricatures are the norm). Yes, it did have some cheesy moments but they are forgivable in the context of the message of the movie - namely, we (Indians & Pakistanis) are really not all that different so why can't we just get along?

The two songs from the soundtrack are Mere Humsafar and Panchhi Nadiya the latter of which won the Filmfare Award, both sung by Sonu Nigam & Alka Yagnik. And lastly, one final picture of the new groom getting mehndi put on him before his wedding - after succeeding on his own and one of the best actors in Bollywood today he definitely has made papa proud.


Alan said...

Refugee was one of the first films we saw when first entering the Bollywood arena. Enjoyed the film at the time and had no idea who the performers were or what their background was.

Sanket Vyas said...

This movie had high production values (scenery, soundtrack, etc) because of the power of the families behind the 2 new leads. It still stands the test of time and remains a favorite of mine to this day...