When you say Aamir Khan, you’re more likely to expect some ‘content’ (forgive him for ‘Thugs of Hindostan’) as compared to some of the other stars. It’s not just ventures he stars in but also ones he produces that makes us expect something from the actor.
And when the subject of his movies has anything to do with India, like ‘Sarfarosh’, ‘Lagaan’ ‘Rang De Basanti’, ‘Dangal’, to name a few, they usually stay relevant and memorable for a long time. Will Aamir be able to add ‘Rubaru Roshni’ to this elite list? Read to find out.
The movie starts with former President Shankar Dayal Sharma’s granddaughter Avantika Maken sharing horrific details of her parents’, Congress leaders, Lalit and Gitanjali Maken’s murder in mid ‘80s in Delhi in the aftermath of the anti-Sikh riots. This is followed by a person Ranjith Singh Gill explaining his role in the incident.
The second story kicks off with visuals of an elderly woman in grief about the death of her daughter, nun Rani Maria. Her death in Madhya Pradesh in 1995 is then detailed and her murderer Samundar then opens up on it.
The third story begins with a woman named Kia Scherr talking about the loss of her husband Alan and daughter Naomi in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
The movie traces three real-life incidents that took place in ‘80s, 90s and 2000s respectively through the stories titled ‘Orphan and the Convict’, ‘The Farmer and the Nun’ and ‘The Terror and the Mom’.
The first two stories see family members of the deceased speaking about their grief of losing their loved ones, the perpetrators sharing what made them commit the crime and what changed afterwards. The family members and the perpetrators come together over the course of many years.
The third story details how the death of the family members spurs the woman to make an effort towards the importance of peace. ‘Rubaru Roshni’ propagates the message of forgiveness even in the hardest of circumstances to achieve internal peace.
First things first, ‘Rubaru Roshni’ is not for the faint-hearted. A person sharing how many bullets he fired or how many times he stabbed the knife is hard to hear, forget imagining. Visuals of the scenes of crime, newspaper clippings and news channels’ reportage of the incidents might make some want to shut their ears or close their eyes. All the happy pictures and videos before or after make the tougher moments harder to watch.
However, the crime is not what the film is about, it’s how forgiveness brings about a change in the lives of those concerned. The message that the movie intends to give is inspiring and shouldn’t be missed at any cost. It’s unlikely you won’t drop a tear during the almost two-hour running time, emotional people might cry buckets.
Director Svati Chakravarty does a brilliant job in being objective, presenting two sides of the crime, the victim and the perpetrator. Special mention to the research team that worked to convince the persons to reveal their stories and in arranging the clippings, newspaper cuttings and other details.
Kudos to Aamir Khan for backing such a venture, which is in his ‘Satyamev Jayate’ space, but is perhaps more relevant and has a wider appeal in today’s times.
‘Rubaru Roshni’ airs in Hindi on Star Plus on January 26 at 11 am and would be screened in seven other languages; you can watch it later on Hotstar and Netflix, but Republic Day would just be perfect to experience the journey this emotional film takes you on.
Overall, it’s definitely one of the most touching movies you will see in recent times.
What works: Objectivity, direction, research
What doesn’t: Hard to find actually, but tear-inducing background music perhaps is convenient, gory visuals of 26/11 and Ajmal Kasab’s interrogation scene are not easy to the eye