» » Paar (1984)

Short summary

This is Goutam Ghose's speculative commentary on poverty and exploitation in rural Bihar, based on Bengali story Paathi.

Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi and Goutam Ghosh got national awards in 1985 for their brilliant performances.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Malakelv
    This is how a great movie based on human fighting spirit is made without a show of vulgarity, extravagant costumes and scenes. This is a stark example of how a good film is crafted. No flamboyance, no artificiality, no fiction, no sci-fi effects and no fantasy. It is only a forceful depiction that "Life is not a bed of Roses". This is how some people living on the periphery of civilized world have to make their way through all odds ...... fighting for their own life and their would be child's life.

    But it takes sharpened intellect to appreciate this movie. People and the X-generation who are used to watching fiction films directed by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas can never grasp the true meaning of life and its struggles. People born with silver spoons in their mouths can hardly watch such movies for they lack the sheer imagination that is characteristic of suffering/solitude/empathy and a longing to sacrifice everything for the posterity.
  • comment
    • Author: Silverbrew
    The plight of the poor is encapsulated stupendously in this heart rending tale of a couple.

    Aptly titled as PAAR, The Crossing which means reaching the other end, the couple here strives just to make ends meet, indeed fails for a good amount of time and finally is contented with whatever has been offered.

    This is one of the most authentic and yet simple film that is made on the poor, and how human spirit to fight against all the odds can keep a soul happy. Also, to show some contrast , there is a scene in which the jubilation of the youth of 1983 when India won the Cricket World Cup is put. This shows the stark realities of our society which indeed is effective even today in some parts of the nation.

    This is a great lesson on film making in itself to today's youth. There is no flamboyance, style, nor any graphics or even fantasy. There are characters who are from a village, who seek employment and who are afraid of life in itself and would go to any length to respectfully earn their bread. A scene in which Naurangi (Naseeruddin Shah) is offered a few rupees and when he denies it saying, "Aap kuch bhi kaam de do mujhe, jhaadu pocha ya kuch bhi" shows that even poor has their self respect and it was put well.

    Gautam Ghose, made this film when he was 33-34 and man he has the gut to show us in face what India meant in 1984. Damn, kudos to his gut and the script work he had done. The shot of crossing the river, is a testimony of what a director should actually be capable of, without any technology, cameras or hype, simply capturing the emotions of characters. He seems to be a spectator in a grand scale to such heinous acts that were depicted in the film and has placed them supremely well in this film.

    Acting by each and everyone was exemplary. Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi gave one of their finest performances. Shabana Azmi as Rama is memorable. The other cast which includes a host of actors from Utpal Dutt to Om Puri and many more, did their parts well.

    This is a film that shows the dark realities of the Indian society in 1980's and kudos to Gautam Ghose and the makers of the film to conceive this and giving it to us. I hope so that many from my generation and from the future generations, watch this.

    The screenplay, was at time non-linear per say and with flashes of back story. It was commendable and interesting. The editing also was good, all through it just kept the story moving forward. The cinematography from the titles to the end credits was supreme.

    I loved the whole of the film, but to see it again, I must have the dare to let my heart rend and wrench by the trauma I will emotionally subject myself to. I am going with 5/5 for this. Just loved it.
  • comment
    • Author: Wizer
    Goutam Ghose's 'Paar' tells the story of a young couple, Naurangia (Naseeruddin Shah) and his wife Rama (Shabana Azmi) who are forced to flee the village because of atrocities committed by the zameendar (landlord played by Utpal Dutt). It's a little difficult to follow in the beginning as the storytelling isn't linear and it moves back and forth in time. Some of the village sequences (that do not involve Rama and Naurangia) feel a little overstretched. The best parts of the film are the sequences with Shah and Azmi.

    Once the film focuses on the couple's 'quest' to make a life for themselves in the city, the viewers are involved and rooting for them to find a solution. Their struggle mirrors the harsh reality of the streetlife that most villagers experience when they're looking to make a life in the big busy Asian city (with no connection to anyone). Yet, Naurangia and Rama are not without hope. Their love for one another is solid and they are each other's strength.

    When an opportunity, that promises enough money to at least get by for a few days, presents itself to Naurangia he is excited but also cautious. This proves to be a dangerous challenge that involves his four-month pregnant wife but he sees this as the only way out now and they'll both just have to succeed in this task to survive.

    Despite the initial confusion, Ghose's direction is very good, especially in the second half. I also liked his occasional use of dark humour. The subtle cinematography and score are impressive. Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi are at their best. That's not a surprise as these two actors have always brought out the best of each other. Furthermore, Azmi looks beautiful and authentic. Of the supporting cast, Om Puri stands out while the others are competent.

    'Paar' succeeds in both its depiction of a reality that is often overlooked and telling a character driven story about survival.
  • comment
    • Author: Precious
    Here's a poor couple (Shabana Azmi and Naseeruddin Shah) on the run from their enemies, who (while herding a flock of sheep, and despite Shabana's pregnancy) have to swim across a wide, swiftly flowing river, in which they nearly drown before reaching safety. The dangerous river crossing symbolically sums up all worldly burdens and trials.
  • comment
    • Author: Nern
    A small budget masterpiece with great performances by 2 gems of theatre Shabana Azmi & Naseeruddin Shah.
  • comment
    • Author: DART-SKRIMER
    We have solved puzzles about a man carrying a sheep, a tiger and a bundle of hay across a river in a boat. This is tougher. A herd of sheep, a pregnant wife and an overflowing river, with no boat... Who goes first?

    Since it is a movie and not a puzzle, a poor man crossing a river with his pregnant wife, and taking along a herd of sheep of his landlord, has several underlying themes. The overflowing river is like the raging landlord. The unborn child represents home. The herd represents money. The poverty-stricken couple decides to go for raising some money for their child.

    This ordeal sums up great performances by Naseerudin Shah and Shabana Azmi into one.
  • Cast overview, first billed only:
    Naseeruddin Shah Naseeruddin Shah - Naurangia
    Shabana Azmi Shabana Azmi - Rama
    Utpal Dutt Utpal Dutt - Bhola Singh (as Utpal Dutta)
    Anil Chatterjee Anil Chatterjee - Schoolmaster
    Mohan Agashe Mohan Agashe - Hari Singh
    Kamu Mukherjee Kamu Mukherjee - Headman
    Sunil Mukherjee Sunil Mukherjee - Chamku
    Masood Akhtar Masood Akhtar
    Usha Ganguly Usha Ganguly
    Kalyan Chatterjee Kalyan Chatterjee
    Bimal Deb Bimal Deb
    Bhoopal Reddy Bhoopal Reddy
    Sujal Roy Chowdhury Sujal Roy Chowdhury - (as Sajal Roy Chowdhury)
    Reba Roy Chowdhury Reba Roy Chowdhury
    Ruma Guha Thakurta Ruma Guha Thakurta
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