Big Hit 1999!
Rajshri continued to produced wonderful and memorable flicks like Tapasya (1976 Dir. Anil Ganguly), Chit Chor (1976 Dir. Basu Chatterjee), Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se (1978 Dir. Hiren Nag), Sunayana (1979 Dir. Hiren Nag), Humkadam(1980 Dir. Anil Ganguly), Naiyya (1980 Dir. Prashant Nanda), Saaransh(1984 Dir. Mahesh Bhatt) & Abodh (1984 Dir. Hiren Nag).
Most of these films presently now have more weaknesses then strengths. But at the time of their release, these films were very different in style and tone from the rest of conventional Hindi cinema. It is these films that help inspire forthcoming filmmakers, and innovate the bland Hindi cinema which is predictable and not satisfying.
While most of their production remains quite unknown to many audiences, since their films was mostly consistent of new cast and production crew (making them really experimental at times), their last three production has become the most popular films ever in the history of Indian cinema. The films Maine Pyar Kiya (1989), Hum Aapke Hain Koun (1994) & Hum Saath - Saath Hain (1999) had broken box-office records around the world. All three movies were directed by Rajshri in-house director Sooraj B. Barjatya.
The films each have a social message which looks at each stage of life....youth/love, love/marriage & family values.
Rather than breaking Hindi film conventions, which all Rajshri films have done in nearly all of their releases, Hum Saath - Saath Hain continues the trend set by Hum Aapke Hain Kaun of an upper class family having functions, outings, businesses, and a big house.
Planning of shots, art direction and performances are well executed. This shows how the director is very structured in what he wants to be visually shown on screen.
The background score is very appropriate as it helps to interact with what the characters feel on screen.
Like I mentioned before, all the pre-production work done really shows the creativity the director has for his characters. There are many characters in this film, and for the director to ensure what will each be made of mentally and physically shows very well on screen. He personifies them through their personality, para-language, body language and even hobbies. The excellent art direction by Bijon Das Gupta captured by the wide cinema scope frame of Rajan Kinagi shows all of this creation quite well, and adds marvel viewing.
Also the performance from all the cast, is very well handed due to the detail structure of the surround planning by the director. Karishma Kapoor, Aloknath, Tabu, Neelam and Saif Ali Khan displays wonderful moments of character acting that surpasses most blockbuster stars currently in Indian cinema. Also Salman Khan Performance is quite impressive despite having less screen time then most of the major characters. Here his shy character is played to a tee and certainly contrasts with his loud and crass characters in his past films like Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kiya (1998) and Hello Brother (1999). Apart from them, Mohnish Behl, Sonali, Mahesh Thakur and all the other casts just excel in their respective roles. Tabu and Sonali add grace and sincerity to their characters. Tabu's downplayed expression in the scene right after Alok Nath and Reema Lagoo's argument is stunning. Sonali as the shy Preeti is amazing. She adds a lot of class and her body language is a standout. The two actresses are more than a positive addition. Karishma and Saif add to the humour. Karishma looks very naughty and Saif is wonderful as the hyperactive Vinod as are Salman as the quiet Prem and Mohnish as the responsible Vivek and Neelam stands out as the sister. The three friends who play Lagoo's friends seem like caricatures.
Hum Saath Saath Hai' is a simple family drama. It's one of the films I enjoy most when watching with family. The moral of the story is that family should stick together, that's when they're the strongest. Yes, it's larger than life and some might call it 'too good to be true' but it's entertaining. The set designs are impressive and the locales are spectacular (particularly the Rampur scenes).
The songs, all the songs (and also the background score), are very pleasant (I think extra-ordinary) and nicely added to the screenplay. In addition to that, the dances have been beautifully choreographed.
Despite being harshly criticize by many film critics, and by some audiences, the film became the highest grossing Indian film of the year 1999. I'd say its one film best watched with the family.
Rating: 5 / 5