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April 7, 2001
Of man, woman and child
Okay, we all know that Rahul is about a cute little boy who tries to unite his estranged parents.
And Prakash Jha makes sure the audience never forgets it. Rahul (Yash Pathak) is present in every single scene, with either his loving father or his brooding mother.
The story is quite predictable. Rahul lives with his father, Akash (Jatin Grewal). His parents are divorced. Rahul has been brought up to believe that his mother, Meera, (Neha) is gandhee (dirty).
But he misses a mother figure dreadfully. Akash, for his part, will not even entertain the delicate topic in his house.
The usual rich girl-poor-boy saga is repeated here, with the girl's mother and brother team constantly poisoning her mind against her husband. The young couple conquer the major obstacles together, but fail at the silliest one: A fist-fight between the brother and Akash!
This turns Akash's mind against Meera so much that he poisons his son's mind against his mother.
Another twist to the story comes in the form of Sheila (Rajeshwari Suchdev), who is prepared to be a mother to Rahul and marry Akash. Which is strange. Why should a young, beautiful woman want to sacrifice her life and yearn to mother Rahul, whom she just met at a business meeting!
The film has its fair share of loopholes. Like a cart vendor (Gulshan Grover) hosting a grand party. And the film has a song springing up every 15 minutes.
All to come to just conclusion with the usual filmi finale.
Rahul is hospitalised due to some reason, and is sinking. The doctors lose hope, but his parents' wailing brings him back to life.
The film ends like a documentary, with the doctor (Parikshit Sahni) lecturing the young couple to be compatible for the sake of the child.
The film has nothing to offer, with the oft-repeated storyline. Masoom and Akele Hum Akele Tum being two examples.
The music is pleasantly hummable. Though you would forget it the minute you stepped out of the theatre. How else would you explain why, out of the ten odd songs, only one, Chhed naa, is passable?
Some of the locales that the camera captures are a treat to the eye. No, there's none of the usual majestic Swiss Alps or English valleys. Only Nature in its splendour as seen in Mahableshwar and some of the other West Indian hill stations.
Yash Pathak, as the cute little helpless boy, oozes conviction with every word he says. At six years, his performance is commendable. Especially the scene when Rahul is forced to tell his mother he hates her. (That, incidentally, is also the first scene that Jatin Grewal shot for.)
Jatin Grewal, the model-turned-actor, turns in a good performance, considering this is his first film. Though the emotional scenes have him stiff, he sails through most others. Neha, as the mother, does nothing other than cry and brood in the entire film.
And Gulshan Grover is totally wasted.
Prakash Jha has, once again, dealt with a social problem. His last film, Mrityudand, dealt with the emancipation of women. Rahul brings out the impact of divorce as seen through the eyes of a child.
A noble subject, if only Rahul had more conviction!
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