Atanu Mukherjee, a debutant director, through Rukh, showcases his unique style of filmmaking. He has certainly challenged the usual ways of filmmaking and methods of unraveling a suspense film. Beautiful philosophy of life is covered in the film. Life is meant to be an amalgamation of our experiences and relationships in one harmonious, seamless, whole. When someone hurts us, this very cycle is broken and if we need to mend this fracture, we need to learn the art of forgiveness. Forgiveness basically does not mean merely forgiving the person who hurt us but also forgiving ourselves, forgiving even life itself with all its unpredictable, uncertain, bizarre, tough twists and turns. Forgiveness is to unlock oneself from the past as a victim of circumstances, move ahead and take control of life. Another vital point is that our personality gets shaped by the events happening in and around our lives and impact of these events can never be neutral, it either leaves a positive impact or negative impact on us. And this is what happens in the film. There is a reason behind our behaviour, reason behind our personality and attitudes. Although major part of the film is based on a son’s quest to find answers behind his father’s untimely accidental death. The quest was to find the conflicting situations which led to father’s death, but in the process, he comes across and stands face to face with his own inner conflicts. So, basically the film is all about the quest of external as well as internal happenings which affect us in a particular manner and also the course of actions which we choose. It is important to let go of the past, forgive and seek forgiveness, and finally achieve inner harmony and this very philosophy sets the whole premise of Rukh. One of the major challenge with the film is that its pace is too slow for everyone to focus on screen. But if one can sit through, and then for sure is going to enjoy the riveting performances be it that of Manoj Bajpayee, Adarsh Gourav, Smita Tambe, Kumud Mishra, Barat or others as well.
The film begins on a gloomy note and that sets the whole background of the film. One can assume that what all could be in store in the film as a suspense film. Although the gloom is maintained throughout, which I beleive is obviously done with a purpose, the story unfolds in an unexpected and unpredictable manner. The opening scene has Divakar Mathur (Manoj Bajpayee) and Nandini Mathur (Smita Tambe) being served dinner by Nandini’s mother. There is pin drop silence and sense of gloom prevails, be it in dialogues or be it overall ambience. As an audience, we are unable to figure out the reason – is it due to some differences between couple, or is it due to their fading relationship or is it some professional challenges faced by Divakar (who is into textile business) or is it something to do with their son. Very soon, we find Divakar dead in a car crash. Nandini is quiet, but her mannerisms show that she is sure about the person who is behind Divakar’s accident. Their teenage son Dhruv Mathur (Adarsh Gourav), who is in boarding comes home. He seems to be a detached personality. There comes Robin (Kumud Mishra), friend and business partner of Divakar into the scene, but he is certainly under the radar of doubt. Dhruv finds certain things strange and that is where his exploration journey begins. Through his journey, we get to understand the inside story of various characters, and also introduction of new characters happen – be it Hasan, Shinde, Jayant, Rangarajan, Divakar’s Baba. Dhruv revisits his own pain when he embarks this journey.
Parallel to the narratives regarding unraveling the truth behind Divakar’s death, Dhruv’s troubled past also unfolds, where the reasons of his being sent to boarding school is shown. His friendships also become part of this story. Along with Dhruv, we as an audience get to know the truth. Dhruv learns about his father’s last days from the perspectives of various other characters.
The game of chess as an analogy of life is a perfect fit in the film.
If we speak about the performances, these are the major highlights of the film. Manoj Bajpayee astonishes with his performance as always. Give him any role, how beautifully he adapts and absorbs the whole feel of the character and enacts is absolutely awesome. Although the credit line mentions his role to be a special appearance one, it certainly is a longer one, he is the connecting point between all the characters, the story revolves around him. Adarsh Gourav has given a very mature performance, he does not let the character go out of his system at any point of time. Kumud Mishra is another actor who just grows beyond himself and blends himself with the character, here in this film also, he as the wily business partner has done absolute justice to his role. Smita Tambe as Nandini projects the restlessness, regret of being unable to live life, guilt-struck at times because of probably ignoring the cues about Manoj’s character Divakar’s stress.
Two songs ‘Hai Baaki’ and ‘Khidki’ blends with the screenplay and takes the narration ahead.
Rukh as a film does not try to make any preachy statements, be it about relationship dynamics between couples or between parents-children or be it about any socio-political issues. The film is more about an individual’s quest to get in touch with the inner self, be aware of external and internal happenings, learn the art of forgiveness, and move ahead in life irrespective of the external challenges. The movie’s slow pace may distract you, but stay with the film to explore the theme. Watch it for the riveting performances by Manoj Bajpayee, Adarsh Gourav, Smita Tambe and Kumud Mishra.
Rating: 3.5/5 (Good+)
Cast and Crew Details: Source – Wikipedia Page
Cast: Manoj Bajpayee (Divakar Mathur), Adarsh Gourav (Dhruv Mathur), Smita Tambe (Nandini Mathur), Kumud Mishra (Robin)
Directed by: Atanu Mukherjee
Produced by: Manish Mundra
Written by: Atanu Mukherjee, Akash Mohimen, Vasan Bala (Dialogues)
Music: Amit Trivedi, Anjo John (Background Score)
Cinematography: Puja Gupte
Edited by: Sanglap Bhowmick
Distributed By: Eros International, Drishyam Films
Release Date: 27th October, 2017
Duration: 1 hour and 47 minutes