Mukti Bhawan: Salvation Knocks at its Will!
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Reviewer’s Thumb Mark
The universe is ruled by bipolar law – if there is life then there is death. Though, the whole world knows this fact, many of us ignore or avoid thinking about death as if it will never happen to us. Subhasish Bhutiani’s debut feature film ‘Mukti Bhawan’ (Hotel Salvation) is a subtle attempt to remind us the often ignored and avoided reality of life and death. The film depicts the story of a patriarch Dayanand Kumar (Lalit Behl) in a family who feels his time has come and constantly requests his son to take him to a lodge called ‘Mukti Bhawan’, which houses people like him who wait there to welcome their impending death. There are instances, where we may also relate with to have come across many elders in our family who shared their willingness to leave their body because they felt there is nothing more left here to cling on to or fascinates them anymore. As any one of us would have reacted, the patriarch’s son Rajiv (Adil Hussain) too rubbishes his instincts and tells him to continue to live with him happily.
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A reluctant son and an old father willing to die makes the plot very interesting and keeps us glued to our seats leaving us moist eyed. What is more exciting is their stay in ‘Mukti Bhawan’ and how the inmates and the caretaker of the lodge opens up a whole new world in front of us which unveils different dimensions and aspects of life and death. The filmmaker and his team definitely deserves to be applauded for such a deft handling of a sensitive and emotional subject with excellent finesse. There are moments that we come across that makes us realize during the journey of ‘Mukti Bhawan’ along with the lead protagonist that sometimes its ‘death’ that makes us realize the importance of relationship than ‘life’. The last scene of the film leaves us emotional - both happy and sad.
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Choosing Banaras to talk about ‘life and death’ is so apt because the Ghats have witnessed so many souls depart happily as well as with pain. Lalit Behl as the patriarch plays his role with great conviction and remains within you as a character even after you exit the theatre. Hussain is one such actor who just lives his role on screen. He as a distressed and at the same time a concerned son touches us. Navnindra Behl as Vimla, an old inmate in ‘Mukti Bhawan’ adds more value to the whole theme of the movie.It’s a sheer joy to watch her play her role.
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I would like to say that ‘Mukti Bhawan’ is entertaining in a different sense because it celebrates both life and death. Go and watch with your family and do ensure to take your elders together to watch this soulful movie with a tinge of humour, may be you may also want to look up ‘reborn’!!! Mukti Bhawan reminds me of the monologue, spoken by the melancholy Jacques about the seven ages of human life in Shakespeare’s drama ‘As You Like It’:
All the worlds’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 4/5
Cast: Adil hussain (Rajiv), Lalit Behl (Dayanand Kumar), Geetanjali Kulkarni (Lata), Palomi Ghosh (Sunita), Navnindra Behl (Vimla), Anil K Rastogi (Mishraji)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director: Shubhasish Bhutiani
Producers: Sanjay Bhutiani, Sajida Sharma
Screenplay by: Shaubhasish Bhutiani, Asad Hussain
Music by: Tajdar Junaid
Cinematography: David Huwiler, Michael McSweeney
Production: Red Carpet Moving Pictures
Release Date: 7th April, 2017
Duration: 99 Minutes