It appears that the Hindi film industry seeks a Nana Patekar from time-to-time (Fortunately he is back with TVW). It was in 1994, only a couple of years post riots that Nana Patekar had mouthed the famous dialogue about discrimination (through blood) of individuals from two religion in ‘Krantiveer’. “ये मुसलमान का खून ये हिन्दू का खून…. बता इस में मुसलमान का कौन सा हिन्दू का कौनसा… बता।”, so, in response to Nana’s secularist / humanist dialogue, the makers of ‘The Great Indian Family’ have literally narrated how we can differentiate and create a rift between fellow brethren. This is the height of being cliché.
In this day and age when the world is looking at Bharat as the most secular democracy, why do filmmakers have to bring up such sensitive topics in the name of entertainment. More so, it does not stop at that. It goes ahead and uses terms like ‘Surgical Strike’ to enter in a neighbouring area tagged as ‘muslim area’. What is the need to display such sentiments and that too in the name of entertainment! Aren’t the makers aware of influencing youth in the wrong direction. Why didn’t they use ‘How’s the Josh’ when boys of different community help each other in the narrative!!
‘The Great Indian Family’ is about a youth, Ved Vyas Tripathi aka Bhajan Kumar (Vicky Kaushal) who has this natural fervour of singing Bhajans and belongs to this family of Brahmin pandit played by (Kumud Mishra). The pandit is a very righteous person and attracts a lot of respect and attention amongst the locals. Everything is fine until one fine day he sets out for ‘Char Dham ki Yatra’ and remains incommunicado. In his absence, the family receives a letter from an anonymous person which informs them that Ved Vyas is actually Muslim by birth, and all hell breaks.
This news makes waves and reaches all and sundry and a ruckus erupts about finding Ved’s individuality in terms of his ‘religion’. Feeling now disowned by the very family, the rebellious Ved sets out to convert to be a Muslim and gets refuge in a muslim friends family. Just as he steps near a mosque, enters Pandit ji, who takes him back and reveals the truth about his birth. So, what is the solution that the makers had in mind? As mentioned above, when one cannot (visibly) diferentiate between blood of two individuals, the makers seek the help of pathology and want to prove the difference!
Well, the rest of the drama unfolds in the most ridiculous manner to finally proclaim that Ved is indeed born Muslim but would now continue cherishing both the faith in his own ways.
It appears that I lack proper knowledge about communal peace and harmony. When people are living in peace and harmony where is the need to give ideas to create a divide. Why look upon people from other faith as someone different, some looked upon and others not.
Vicky Kaushal looks good as Bhajan Kumar, but the problem with his bhajans is that they are more parodies rather than any inspirational bhajans sung to praise the lord. He tries his best to emote but probably feels unconvinced about the skin he is in.
Kumud Mishra as Pandit ji succeeds in playing an authoritative character and never does let the character loose. Manoj Pahwa plays Ved’s uncle and performs as required by the script. The rest of the cast including Manushi Chhillar are ancillary characters to drive the plot home.
The music of the film is composed by Pritam and lyrics written by Amitabh Bhattacharya. The only song that registers is ‘Kanhaiya Twitter Pe Aaja’, which happens to be one of the ‘bhajans’ by Bhajan Kumar. Beyond this there isn’t much to write about.
Krantiveer is apparently available on some OTT platform, watch it to satiate your nationalist feeling. As for ‘The Great Indian Family’, it’s your time, money and effort, take your call.
Movie: The Great Indian Family
Directed by: Vijay Krishna Acharya
Cast: Vicky Kaushal, Manushi Chhillar, Manoj Pahwa, Kumud Mishra, Yashpal Sharma
Duration: 1 hour 52 mins