Ijaazat (1987)

ijaazat_vermicelli

I should start out by saying that while I am far from perfect, and do not require anybody else in my life to be perfect either, there are certain types of people that I just try to keep at a distance. These are:

  • The Drama Queen: not happy unless she is the center of attention, and willing to do whatever messed-up, selfish, childish thing it takes to stay there. A perfect narcissist!
  • The Jackass: never thinks much about the repercussions his thoughtless and (usually stupid) actions and decisions (or lack thereof) may bring until it’s far too late. A total idiot, and a coward too!
  • The Martyr: often weepy, and always long-suffering, this person refuses to do anything to help herself and also enables people around her to do all the wrong things as well. Self-sacrifice is so overrated!

If you’ve seen Ijaazat, you may see where I’m going with this. The film revolves around three people and yes, each one embodies one of the types I’ve just described above. Mahender (Naseeruddin Shah) is a complete Jackass who marries the Martyr Sudha (Rekha), and then allows the Drama Queen Maya (Anuradha Patel) to interfere in their married life. That is pretty much it, in a nutshell, and the fact that it takes well over two hours to tell the story should give you some idea of how painfully slow it is too. Luckily I was watching this with Beth and we kept each other from slitting our own wrists.

The performances are just fine, and the movie begins promisingly enough. Mahender and Sudha meet unexpectedly at a train station, where they are each waiting for the morning express train. It’s clear that they have a “history” together, and that history unfolds through flashbacks. Mahender is in love with Maya (and lives with her), but is getting pressure from his grandfather (Shammi Kapoor) to get married to Sudha, with whom he has grown up.

ijaazat_grandpa

He confides the truth to Sudha, to whom he’s been officially engaged for a few years. She gives him some good advice.

ijaazat_guts

I already don’t care much for young Mahender, who can’t tell his grandfather the truth and wants Sudha to somehow fix it all for him. It doesn’t help at all that he looks like a washed-up 1970s porn star.

ijaazat_mahender

The thing about the aptly named Maya is that she’s a bit of a free spirit, and doesn’t want to get married. She is prone to going off alone for long periods of time without telling anybody where she’s going or for how long, leaving only cryptic poems in her wake. Finally fed up with this, Mahender decides to cave and marries Sudha (as to why she’d marry a man she knows is in love with someone else…well, her mother wants her to, and she’s a good Martyr). All is well until Maya returns and begins calling Mahender.

ijaazat_tellher

WTF? Why should your wife tell your ex-lover to phone you somewhere else, you Jackass?? Ugh. For the next hour Maya demands all his attention with such ploys as writing sad poems to him, buying a baby, and finally taking an overdose of pills. The film devolves into an endless circle of suffering and self-absorption. Mahender falls for every ploy and indulges Maya, while Sudha frets. I think we are supposed to feel sorry (or something) for Maya—Sudha certainly seems to—but I find her self-centered, spoiled and…a complete Drama Queen. I just want to slap her (and him, and Sudha).

ijaazat_ownmouth

ijaazat_living

Naturally, all of this wears down their marriage so it’s no surprise (and in fact it’s a relief) when Sudha has finally had enough and leaves.

ijaazat_illtreated

He hasn’t????? Get a clue, you Martyr!

So what has happened in the intervening years? Why should we care?

I know that my dislike of this Gulzar “classic” will make some of you sad (although hopefully not mad). I even hated RD Burman’s music. But I will tell you one thing: the ending was SUPERSWEET! I loved it! DO NOT read further if you don’t want to know the ending.

MAJOR SPOILER BELOW!

Living well is said to be the best revenge, but upgrading to The Shash has got to be even better!

ijaazat_bask

Bask in it, Sudha! BASK!

ijaazat_shashi

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89 Comments to “Ijaazat (1987)”

  1. TaDOW! Brilliant! :)

    (Even if we might be alone in our little Ijaazat-hating club.)

  2. Lol sorry to say I cannot join you in your ijaazat hating club but from your review i can understand your hate of it. the thing with theses three characters is that they are slightly dysfunctional, and in reality..most people are. Mahendra is shown to be selfish till the very end thinking sudha will just come back to him. Even though sudha is the ‘martyr’, she jsut gives it a chance and tried to be understanding but then eventually goes off to make her own life. Sometimes people need to go through certain thigns to figure out what is right for them,
    I loveeedd the music of this movie, the words of ‘mere kuch samaan’ are so touching and truthful.

  3. Sadly the songs were not subtitled so the lyrics went over my head. I hated the tunes though and Asha sounded really awfully screechy (and I normally LOVE Asha). The ending did redeem it quite a bit, but sitting through it just became painful after a while. I ran out of patience way before Sudha did :-)

    • If you so desire I can leave you a transalation of Mera Kuch Saaman which is one of the most beautiful songs I have heard. I like the break in melody in this song and the lyrics which are heartbreaking in itself

      • I’m always happy to get a translation :)

        • Here you go!

          Lyrics:

          Mera kuch saamaan tumhare paas pada hai -2
          o o o ! saavan ke kuch bheege bheege din rakhe hain
          aur mere ik khat main lipti raat padi hai
          vo raakh bhujaa do, mera vo saamaan lauta do – 2
          mera kuch saamaan tumhaare paas pada hai – 2

          Some of my belongings have been left with you
          Some of days wet with rains have been kept there
          and also in a letter of mine lies wrapped a night
          estinguish that smouldering ash, and return those belongings of mine
          Some of my belongings have been left with you

          patjhad hai kcuh … hai na ?
          o ! patjhas main kuch patton ke girne kee aahat
          kaanon main ek baar pahan ke laut aai thee
          patajhad kee vo saakh abhi tak kaanp rahi hai
          vo saakh gira do, mera vo saamaan lauta do – 2

          It is autumn-y, isnt it?
          from the autumn’s falling leaves the clear sound is there
          I had worn it once in my earlobes and returned it
          the branch the leaves belonged to is still shivering
          cut of that dead branch, and return those belongings of mine

          ek akeli chhataree main jab aadhe aadhe bheeg rahe the – 2
          aadhe sookhe aadhe geele, sukha to main le aaye thee
          geela man shayad bistar ke paas pada ho
          vo bhijwa do, mera vo saamaan lauta do

          In a single umbrella while half of us was getting wet
          half wet half dried, i brought back the dried
          my wet soul is probably lying next to bed
          please get it sent, and return my belongings to me

          ek sou sola chaand ki ratain ek tumhare kaandhe ka til – 2
          geeli mahendi ki khushbu, jhoot mooth ke shikwe kuch
          jhooth mooth ke wade sab yaad karaa do
          sab bhijwa do, mera vo saamaan lauta do – 2

          a hundred and sixteen moon-filled nights, one birthmark on your shoulder
          the smell of wet mehendi, some fake fights.
          all the fake promises please remind me of them,
          please get everything sent, please return my belongings

          ek ijaazat de do bas, jab isako dafanaaungee
          main bhi vaheen so jaungee
          main bhi vaheen so jaungee

          just give me one permission, when i bury these
          even I will sleep right next to them

        • If you are a Gulzar fan (his lyrics are always deep) and seek good translation there a book published of his own picked out top 100 movie songs he wrote which has Hindi lyrics on left and excellent English translation on right. It was published in mid 2009 and I found it at Bombay intl. airport bookstall sometime in dec 2009. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves his poetry.

          Also if you are a Gulzar fan, you would want to follow Vishal Bharadwaj and his style movies, articles, etc. (and of course both reflecting off RD Burman’s way of life and thinking).

  4. I am ambivalent about the film (dont like the characters but like how well done the movie was) but I totally join you in hating the music. I have never been able to figure out the charm of Mera kuch saamaan or Katra katra – Asha sounds nice but I prefer my poetry more rhythmic and yes, rhyming!

    JJC‘s astute comment just about sums up my feelings about the characters – they are silly and very flawed, but believable (I know some people like that in real life!). The only thing that left me feeling sad was that Shashi once again has a wife who’s missing her ex! ;-)

  5. I know people really are like that…but I avoid them in life and I don’t care for them in films either. And I still manage to have plenty of friends! (Really! I do!!!) (I DO!!!!!)

    • Of course you do!

      And I try to avoid people like that too, but sometimes people you like turn out to be living soap-opera lives and you just cant turn off your liking.

      That subtitle is hilarious! I dont remember what Naseer is saying in the film but he certainly wasnt asking her to bask in Shashi!

  6. BASK!!! That final picture made me laugh. Oh, Memsaab.

    I want to bask in the Shashi.

  7. (YOU DO!!!! I’m your friend, Memsaab!!!!)

  8. Yea, i guess compared to other asha songs, these songs had more emphasis on the lyrics rather than the tunes but i think it fit in with the rest of the style of the movie becuase throwing in a really catchy rythimic tune would be odd.

  9. You know, you don’t find yourself saying it about many people…but tacking on an extra decade or so really made Naseeruddin look much better. He looks awful in this movie…he really does.

    I love that last line. Indeed Sudha…verily thou should bask. BASK, MEMSAAB TELLS YOU!

  10. Now I’m really confused. When this film was released (aeons ago), everybody around me wondered why I hadn’t seen it, it was soooo good, so well made, etc etc. I still haven’t seen it, and I still find people wondering how I can claim to be fond of Hindi films minus this. But Drama Queen + Martyr + Jackass aren’t my cup of tea, so will bear the raised eyebrows.

    But Shashi looks so good, and Katra katra is lovely to listen to! :)

    • I will say that the acting was very good, as you’d expect from a cast of this caliber, and I also liked the cinematography (except that all the flashback scenes, which was 75 percent of the film, were encased in a “halo” effect, I guess so that we wouldn’t forget it was a flashback—it was sooooo annoying after a while).

      But yeah, unless you have no other options you can probably give this a miss :)

  11. And there is Shammi! Got to see it!!!

    • Shammi was awesome! His character was very sensible and down to earth too, I could never figure out why Mahender was so frightened of him and couldn’t just TALK to him.

  12. Wow, I just don’t seem to have any luck, when it comes to recommending you any films.
    So you didn’t like Ijaazat. When I read your review I completely agree with you. But at the same time, there is a certain poem (nazm)-like feeling about the movie, which only Gulzar can give. I think either one likes it or one doesn’t.
    What makes the film lively are the small things. Like for e.g., the water drops falling from the roof. mahinder talking about politics, sudha telling mahinder to do what he thinks is right, mahinder going off on a bicycle to bring them food and returning back with wet wadas. i can imagine, that lots of quality dialogue between the characters get lost in translation. Gulzar is famous for his dialogues.
    Why does Sudha marry mahinder? Well to answer that question is equally hard as/easy as answering the question: why are arranged marriages the norm in india? When a woman marries a man in an arranged marriage in india, she doesn’t think that the man is in love with her, but that love will develop between them. So, it is immaterial if he was in love with somebody else or not. After all mahinder had left maya and decided to accept sudha as his life-partner. And in a sense he hasn’t mistreated her (like beating her up or something, which is still common). At the same time I agree with you, that I would term mahinder’s behaviour towards sudha as bad treatment. And i think she marries him, because she loves him. many people love persons, where the yknow, that their love will not be equally reciprocated.
    Sudha is not a martyr a la meena kumari. when she sees, that her marriage is not to be saved she divorces mahinder, because she rightly sees that the situation would never turn for better.
    i don’t see mahinder as egoistic. he is just caught in certain circumstances, where whatever steps he takes, makes the situation worse (like a greek tragedy). people do!

    maya is a drama queen, but a sweet and tragic one. gulzar has given her some really memorable dialogues.

    I loved the film. What I hated was that sudha touches mahinder’s feet asking his permission in the end. i hated her pampering mahinder in the waiting room. And I hated Shashi’s charming sniggering at the end, he doesn’t have to rub salt on mahinder’s wounds.

    Better luck next time!

    • Oh, not only you, but many people told me I should see it. And I’m not sorry I did. Can’t like everything! One thing for me though is that I get bored easily if there’s nothing much going on but small things…also, as Beth frequently pointed out, the dubbed-over sound effects (footsteps, water dripping, etc.) was really really intrusively loud, not subtle at all…I am sure a lot of the poetry of the dialogue is lost in translation, as is the mindset you point out inherent in accepting arranged marriages…I just can’t wrap my head around that, much as I try :-)

      Sudha did redeem herself at the end by leaving him, although she ruined it somewhat by calling even though he hadn’t bothered to try and find her (heart attack or not, he could have made SOME effort if he really wanted to). I don’t think Mahender was egotistic, but he was certainly a Jackass!—self-centered and thoughtless in his behavior.

      Please keep recommendations coming, I certainly don’t blame people who liked something for the fact that I didn’t :-D

  13. *I could never figure out why Mahender was so frightened of him and couldn’t just TALK to him*

    Agree with you totally. If he was something like Amrish Puri and a thakur, then it would be little bit understandable.

    I think everybody is trying to fulfill their duties and that is the problem with the situation. Except maybe sudha, becuase i think she marries mahinder because she really loves mahinder and hopes to have a fulfilled marriage, cause he promises her that (he does, what he thinks is right). And she walks out of the situation, when she sees that it is not to be rescued any more. Mahinder, I think procrastinates everything just like me and hopes everything will turn up alright by itself. yeah, and he pays for it.

  14. For me, in most Gulzar movies, the devil err… God is in the details. Same is the case for Ijaazat.

    It’s the dialogues and subtle interactions between the two at the station that makes this movie one of my all-time favorites. Of course having Naseer and an RDB-Gulzar soundtrack *never* hurts.

    I am also of the opinion that a translation of Gulzar’s lyrics (or dialogues for that matter) is one of the most futile exercises — more than of any other writer I know — and is bound to take away most of the fun. In fact even people fluent enough with the language often take more than one viewing/listening to discover and enjoy the layers (which when discovered are a treat altogether). So if you relied primarily on subtitles, don’t blame yourself for not liking the movie. Blame the translator. Or better yet, blame Gulzar for making it like this :).

    • Ha ha! Thanks for giving me an “out” :-) I’m afraid I still would have disliked it just because the behavior of the characters was anathema to me—I know that others might behave that way, and that cultural mindset and individual personality play a large part in accepting such behavior, but I personally could not treat others or tolerate being treated (at least for long) the way(s) they all did…ah well.

  15. I LIKED Ijaazat. Lovely ladies doing all kinds of dopey things to themselves and others which was entirely believable :-) These subtitlers should be SHOT! Translating Gulzar in that fashion is a crime (‘breath is coming in short gasps like vermicelli pieces’!). As others have said above, a large part of the appeal of this film is its poetry. I believe Anuradha Patel got the best debut award for this.

    • I never said they weren’t believable…I just don’t enjoy hanging out with such people, not even if they are only onscreen :-) and at least the vermicelli pieces struck me as creative! (I know! *ducks as Suhan hurls object at head*) :D

      Anuradha Patel is gorgeous. I don’t remember seeing her in anything before this.

  16. did she really suhan? ill have to look that up..anuradha patel just about looked pretty and didnt seem to have aged a bit as genelia’s mom in jaane tu ya jaane na..

  17. I still haven’t seen Jaane Tu…either…could have watched that instead of this. Sigh.

  18. Oops sorry I was so sure she did but on checking I find that she lost to Sonu Walia for “Khoon Bhari Maang”. Yes, that “Khoon Bhari Maang” of Rakesh Roshan! *deeply ponders about Filmfare juries*

  19. lol aww you hated it so much its funny..
    i think youll enjoy jaane tu a wee bit better..its fun..and all the characters are people you want to know ;p
    ahh khoon bari maang..the alligator/crocodile movie..it was so crazy it was good lol..i love cheesy movies

  20. i can still remember the broadcast of the filmfare awards, where you could see Anuradha and Kanwaljeet holding hands and breath as the awards were anounced and you could see the disappointment all written on her face as she lost.
    I think she was a good actresses but never got a plum role.

  21. Well Gulzar with his lyrics is like a bit of a Lewis Caroll in Hindi. He does beautiful beautiful wordplay.

    He is a bit of a genius with poetry but with filmmaking hmm…

  22. And I think it was not the best debut award but the supporting actress.

  23. Ah, one more (a few more, judging by the comments) person who hated the movie as much as I did. Thank goodness!

    In general I subscribe to the theory that a well-made movie about people I wouldn’t want to have anything to do with in real life is still worth watching. But with stories like this one, Devdas, Silsila and a few others I could name, my patience wears really thin. I just feel like walking up to some of the characters and slapping them around a bit.

    ~ramsu

    ps: Washed up 1970s porn star? Exactly what have you been watching, memsaab?

    • In general I cannot stand films that are all about people I would dislike (or at least avoid) in real life :-) So that plus that fact that the story makes me want to throw something at the screen (a la Rum and her pies) just gave this film no chance at all :) Welcome to our little club, Ramsu!

      ps. Errrr…ummmmmmm…ah….no comment.

  24. Nice write-up, ma’am! Just a bit of trivia: this film is an adaptation of the Bengali film ‘Jatugriha’, starring Uttam Kumar (of whom Gulzar has always been a big fan).

  25. Its a bit insane, but still I would consider that as a severe case of DPDP (Different People, Different Pereptions)
    ;)

    But How on earth can you HATE Its music ?? I would still take it, if you didnt like it.. but HATE ? What was there to hate it ?
    I do seek a justification to this one word used by you. Hope i am not being offensive. Regards! :)

  26. No offense taken at all, but please don’t be offended that I hate the music :-) I found the tunes unexceptional at best and irritating at worst, and Asha just sounds…old. And mind you, I’m a BIG RD Burman and Asha fan normally. So please forgive me this once!

  27. Well, Alright…
    Personally speaking, Mera Kucch Saaman is like a ‘GEM’! But I guess somewhere the language barrier has struck deep..

    Never mind! Lukin forward to something more agreeable.. :-)

  28. The ending was the best thing for me in this movie!

  29. Because it was over, or because you liked the way it ended? :-D

  30. Loved it!!! loved the way you hated the movie… it has given me an entirley new perspective on the movie. After years of having heard what a wonderful movie (which I could never undertsnd how it was) I am so glad someone has come out and spoken against it! ;) :)

  31. IliI liked the way it ended – esp Sashi in his brief and breezy rrole!

  32. Memsaab – Anuradha had a good role in the off beat movie Utsav – starring Rekah, Sashi Kapoor and Anuradha Patel. I haven’t seen this movie though. I remember a famous song ” man kyon behka re behka aadi raat ko, bela mehka re mehka aadi raat ko”. Both Rekha and Anuradha were gorgeous in photos showing them in traditional ancient costumes and jewellry. I think it was directed by Girish Karnad – not sure about that too

  33. man kyon behka is from utsav. not from ijaazat.

  34. I think Anonymous was talking about Utsav :-)

  35. I love this movie and I also like your take on it.

    I guess I might be inclined to say that the characteristics you attribute to the three of them were to me their flaws, and not their whole personalities, in the case of Nasseer and Rekha’s characters. Maya is more dependent than she thought she was – I thought she was a good portrait of a kind of falling-apart person who can be maddening, and who also can be temporarily compelling to some men.

    About Nasseer’s appearance – I hadn’t thought of the porn star thing, but I did notice when I was watching this what seemed to me like a struggle in the cinematography, over this problem — Rekha is made for being photographed Star-Style, we love seeing her up close for long periods of time; Nasseer is made to be photographed some other way. In the romantic honeymoon scene/song you can see it all really not working!!

  36. My take on this film was just called “Eurocentric” by a new commenter. :)

    • Like that’s a bad thing? or even avoidable when you’re a westerner? :-)

      • It is eurocentric because you’re judging it by the wrong standards. It’s like comparing biryani to fried rice and saying there’s not enough soya sauce. I appreciate your comments about characterization but I wish you’d recognize that a lot of the beauty is lost in translation. A little humility is called for. Then you might not be wondering why the movie is considered a classic

        • I wish you would recognize that I can’t see the film through an Indian lens because I’M NOT INDIAN. And I am perfectly entitled to disagree with the view of this film as a classic if it doesn’t work for me, just as you are perfectly entitled to disagree with me. My not agreeing with you doesn’t make me wrong, it only makes my opinion different.

          • You got me wrong. I don’t expect you to like the movie or agree with me about the movie. Nor to see the movie with an ‘Indian’ lens but to acknowledge that some of the beauty may have been lost in translation. I think you’ve made some great points about the characterizations and the lapses in the movie and I don’t mean to say that you should like it. But, to consider the possibility that you are not fully equipped to appreciate the movie. Sure there are some movies that I cannot, for the life of me, appreciate and I wonder why others like it so much. One possibility is that the movie is ‘not good’ or not my taste but there is always the possibility that I dont “get it”.

          • *Some* of the beauty may have been lost in translation, that is always true (especially with Hindi films which are often quite poorly subtitled even without taking the difficulties of translating nuances into consideration). But to say that I (and Beth) are eurocentric and therefore judging by the “wrong standards” is something I can’t agree with. They are MY standards because of who I am and I can’t change that. And I think telling me that more “humility” is called for is unwarranted and insulting, frankly, because throughout this blog I acknowledge the limitations of my understanding dialogues, song lyrics etc. In fact even in the comments in this post I acknowledge it. I have still managed to appreciate a lot of Hindi films despite my handicap, and if I didn’t appreciate this one it was not because I didn’t “understand” any of it. I may not have understood ALL of it, but there was plenty I did understand and didn’t care for. I don’t mind disagreement either, as long as it’s polite! I think you said very nicely below what you liked about it—wish you had just left it at that.

            Khair. Peace :)

          • You sit through so many painfully boring movie on a regular basis and survive to write wonderfully funny reviews.You have informed us about some forgotten Hindi classics that even Hindi speaking movie going Indians were not aware of. From the little I know of “Izaajat”, I am certain that even I (despite being an Indian with more knowledge of Hindi than Hindi movie makers) will dislike this movie more that you. And I just find that Raja (another person of Indian origin and conversant with Hindi) also disliked it. So it is not as if everyone must like everything.

            Forget this movie, one need not necessarily like other “classics”. I rememeber you pooh poohing Raj Kapoor’s “classics” and Mithun Chakravorty’s “dancing”. I am fully with you when you ridicule them. There are many so called “eurocentric” people right there in India. It is just that they actually have humility to see the points of view of others.

        • Hey, memsaab is not Indian so it is unfair to expect her to see this through Indian eyes. Just because this movie is considered a classic by many Indians is no reason to push that opinion down others’ throats.

          Everybody is entitled to his opinion – and people’s tastes are (thankfully) different. What is a classic for some may be a total bore for others, e.g. The English Patient.

          Memsaab did not enjoy this movie. This is her blog – and she says it as she sees it.

          Now if you loved this movie, great!!! You are entitled to your opinion. Nobody is questioning it.

          Similarly please don’t question others’ opinions.

          There is no “right” or “wrong” opinion in these things. Different tastes.

          • Amen Raja—the only people who lack humility here are people who expect everyone else to agree with them. Other Indians here didn’t like it either, I suppose they are Eurocentric too :-\

  37. Had heard a LOT about this movie.
    From a lot of people, mainly people who grew up in the 1980s (need I say more ?).
    I had beeen resisting this for a long time but decided yesterday to finally take the plunge and see it.

    I found it irritatingly slow.
    Sorry but I cannot appreciate raindrops falling one by one – and the camera waiting for the count to reach 10 before moving on.
    It is not that I do not appreciate art films – I loved Benegal’s Ankur and Nishant of the 1970s.
    Both very solid, both telling commentaries on society.

    Ijaazat is different. It is a 15-minute story stretched painfully over two hours thanks to Gulzar’s pseudo-art style of presenting this story.

    Don’t get me wrong. I am a huge admirer of Gulzar.
    Gulzar the poet – 10/10. The lyrics of “mera kuchh samaan” are fabulous.
    Gulzar the director ? I am very disappointed here, since I loved many Gulzar movies of the 1970s.
    The story just moves sooooooo slowly.

    Or maybe, it is just a couple of the characters that really got to me.

    Maya.

    I could have slapped the character Maya.
    This is exactly the type of character I really really cannot stand.
    The story tries to portray her as bubbly and therefore “naive and innocent”.
    Poor girl – she is so sweet she does not even know that “buying a baby” is kind of weird.
    I was so happy that she killed herself at the end of the movie.
    I am not given to violent acts but I think I would have gladly strangled her myself.

    Mahender (Naseer).

    For sympathising with Maya – thereby encouraging her to act like a spoilt brat, I could not stand this character.
    My thinking was “you’ve got one hell of a lovely wife..she knows your past but has agreed to marry you. Obviously she is looking forward to the future – with just her and you in it. Don’t you even realise this, you moron ?”
    Totally spineless guy. Could not talk to his grandfather. Could not tell his ex to stuff it.
    Could not even genuinely reciprocate the obvious love that his wife showed him.
    Clearly he took her for granted – something that really angered me.

    Rekha.

    I know you could not stand her “martyr” role but I did feel sorry for her all the way.
    She really loved her husband, she gave him too much respect – IMO even one ounce was an ounce too much, considering the way he behaved.
    Should have left him long before she actually did. She was way too good for him.

    To summarise :
    – Of the characters, I liked only Rekha. Could not stand Maya and Mahender.
    – “mera kuchh samaan” is lovely poetry but my mood was already ruined by Maya-Mahender so I could not enjoy this beautiful song very much.
    – Liked Rekha, felt sorry for her. She looked gorgeous. (Actually so did Anuradha Patel).
    – Movie was irritatingly slow.

    I think Anuradha Patel probably deserved that filmfare award that she missed out on.
    If that Maya character could get so much under my skin, Anuradha must have done a fantastic job. :-)

    • LOL! Now do go and read Beth’s review of it too. She HATED Maya!

      • Have just been there and read her review.
        Am totally with her on Maya. :-)
        Just left her a comment telling her so.

        Oddly enough, this is the FIRST time I am visiting Beth’s site.
        Lovely – she has a very good sense of humour too. Like you.
        I think I may become a regular there too, time permitting. :-)

        • Beth is well worth visiting on a regular basis (just don’t abandon ME) ;-)

          BTW, how did you like the music in Ijaazat?

          • Don’t worry – I wouldn’t abandon your site for the world. :-)
            I just love it. :-)

            Songs of Ijaazat ?
            Well, I know they are supposed to be classy and all that but I was so keen for the story to move on that I fast-forwarded all of them except “mera kuchh saamaan”.
            Now this is the best-known song of the movie – I have heard it like a zillion times and I do like it.
            Had never seen the picturisation, so I sat through it yesterday, though I was itching to FF to get on with the story.
            To be fair to it, the poetry in this song is just brilliant – so Gulzar !!!
            He is totally in a different league – sometimes so far out that he loses you quite easily.
            And though I did not listen to the other songs (and I do not know them), I am pretty sure they must be poetry of the highest class too.
            Somehow I was not in the mood for appreciating poetry yesterday – I think Maya put paid to that too. :-)
            I will listen to the songs some other time – I just hope I do not get images of Maya in front of my eyes *purge*, *purge*, *purge*.
            (You can see that she has had a huge impact on me – it is 24 hours now and the effect has not worn off yet).

            I can imagine that you might not have liked the songs at all – considering the sub-titling of a Gulzar song is like translating PG Wodehouse in Hindi.
            The poetry is easily the strongest aspect of the song.

          • Yes, the lyrics/poetry went *whoosh!* right over our heads. But I didn’t like the music, and generally I’m an RDB fan…

  38. This is crazy! I’d planned on a Gulzar movie marathon and since Ijaazat was a movie I’d seen only in bits and parts at a friend’s years ago, I thought I’d start with this one. So here I am, well into the movie, gnawing my fingers in irritation, wanting to slap a few people, wondering how someone can stretch a half hour worth movie into an aeon…grrrr…I knew that most ppl I knew had loved it, so hitting the pause button I reached out to the www (misery does love company sometimes and I hoped to find a kindered spirit, somewhere)…
    this is what I typed – annoying characters in ijaazat (!) – and lo and behold where should it bring me but here! :) I’m not a sadist, but it makes me soooooooooooo happy to know that others suffered as much as I did through this one!
    Your review was perfecto (and Beth Loves Bollywood seems to be an equally – and I’ve been using this word a lot wrt your website! – delightful blog). The DQ, the J, the M – I am not and neither do I want to be “perfect” but I make sure that, when I come across similar characters irl, I give them a wiiiiiiiiide berth…
    grrr…damsel-needs-rescuing Maya filled me with dismay(a) hee hee…I would have had a little respect for her, if she’d come right out and said …well I want you back now and I’m gonna use every trick in the book to break up your shaadi etc. etc… The helpless act was ANNOYING! (And I just realized – what ATROCIOUS subtitles! Must watch a few more movies to check if subtitles are as bad. I’ve never watched a Hindi movie with subs – gosh these ones are a joke!) The jackass and the martyr you’ve summed up so well, let me not dwell on them.
    I knew my darling Shashi was in this but I gotta wait till the end for that? Sigh. Well, let me get back to it then…Shashi in every roop, rang and umar is yummmm…I hope he knows the sacrifices one makes just for him ;)
    Thanks memsaab, you don’t realize how mucho sukoon this review has given me…bless you :)

    • Ha ha!!! Thank goodness I watched this with Beth or I might not have made it all the way to the Shash :D He is The Bomb and certainly a sight for sore eyes and a welcome relief when he finally appears! Glad Beth and I could help out :)

  39. asha has very well in this film as usual…not even a bit screechy…the words were too difficult to be sung..thats the result she got many awards….. but unfortunately pancham didnt get any awards

  40. i liked the movie because I think the story was more a commentary about the boxing up of relationships in society. Why should a marriage delegitimate a relationship that was certainly deep, sincere and true? Mahinder did love both and I think the movie showed the different aspects of his personality. Clearly, Sudha did not stop caring for Mahinder either even though her marriage was over. Obviously Maya couldn’t. And even if she’s supposed to, she can’t. None of the characters could, no matter that society expects that out of them. I think all the characters respected each other yet could not come to terms with the facts in their lives and were pulled apart between what is expected out of them, what they would like and their empathetic understanding of those whom they loved. I agree though that the characters could have had more complexity like the lyrics and the poetry throughout the movie. I loved it coz it’s one of the few movies which are bold enough to challenge the sacredness of marriage and explore the complexities of love.

  41. Thanks for your comments! Made me think a lot about our conversation on eurocentrism and difference in opinion. Here is what I’ve written about it. http://blog.lib.umn.edu/puot0002/femped2010/2010/12/public-pedagogy–engaging-with-blogs.html

    I’d like to know your opinion in this conversation.

  42. Memsaab,

    I first read the entire story of this film in a magazine called `Femina’ and even as I read, stayed appalled until the end. I did not see the movie for many years and when I finally watched it, I was cheering at the death-by-dupatta scene (FINALLY, that NAATAKBAAZ is gone) and cheered up some more when Shashi Kapoor came along to take `wife’ home. All these years, I’ve argued with hubby about this DUMB movie and I see I’m not alone in thinking it was just a waste of good and goodlooking performers. When I read your description of the three characters, I decided then and there that any political office you stood for, you would have my vote.
    The one thing I found in keeping with the character is that the lout Mahender is a namby-pamby and scared of his grandpa. Grandpa would’ve had plenty to say to the will-o’-the-wisp (that’s what the Femina writer called her) Maya.
    Sighh! Rekha is gorgeous to behold, so is Anuradha. Why did Naseeruddin Shah accept this role?
    A resounding RAH-RAH for this review.

  43. This IJAAZAT movie story is more fitted for a short-story to enjoy on a Sat afternoon. The stretched out movie could have used an additional subplot.

    However I feel the universe did let this feature film come to existence so that RD Burman can create the fabulous songs on Gulzar’s interesting lyrics.

  44. LOL!!! Loved this review!! –
    I like the music though… I love listening to “Mera kuch saamaan..” on a quiet rainy afternoon.

    But the review of the movie is pat on!! The 3 characters so well described…. I had gotten bored with this movie a bit… And yes, I totally cheered in the end when she goes away with Shashi Kapoor – her husband!! But I ABSOLUTELY hated that she touched Mahender’s feet to take “Ijaazat”!!

  45. Have not seen the film – that ‘mera kuch samaan’ had me heading for the hills! I am ambivalent about Gulzar (translated: I like a couple of his films but I find him a bit of a ‘pose’). Reading the storyline though I think it had the potential for a poignant tragedy – of how people seem to be on self destruct. Rekha’s role seem to be a paean to the perfect Indian wife – ‘sacrifice’ hits a strong chord with us. And I think finally Naseer wishes Rekha to break free from his own destructive vortex. Anuradha of course is a mess like Smita in the Arth triangle. Smita made a hash of that and I wonder if Anuradha delivered the goods – the character calls for a fatal attraction – a call of the siren ….. to eventual destruction – I have not found one convincing portrayal of the type in any cinema (nope not even Glen Close:-) or Lana Turner – though the latter looked the type)

  46. Also I am not surprised if women generally hate this film :-D

  47. One of my all-time favourite Indian movies. Rekha’s acting was excellent. Didn’t care much for Anuradha Patel’s acting, however. Naseerudin was great as always.

    I don’t quite understand why people rave about the ‘mera kuch saaman’ song. Can’t stand it.
    I much prefer the ‘khaali haath shaam aayi’ song. Asha sang it so well, and the scene was picturised so well.

  48. I was quite ok with the length of the movie. One can nitpick about this and that, but overall it created quite a good ambience. It’s pitched at somewhere between art and masala movie genres, so can’t be too short.
    For a Hindi movie it’s quite good. Now,if you were to compare it with the generally high quality Bengali or Malayalam movies, well, that’s another story altogether.

  49. A good movie altogether and a very real situation there…it happens all the time…to be or not to be….Please don’t mind but I feel that you are not comfortable with the Gulzar genre of cinema

  50. Had heard a lot of this movie, specially the famous song ‘mera kuch saman’ so finally watched it and absolutely hated it for all the reasons you note.
    Agree with your review totally.
    Nasiruddin, though I usually love him, is absolutely a miscast. Don’t know how a washed-up 1970s porn star looks like :) but it is hard to believe two beauties like Rekha and Anuradha falling for him.
    The famous song never really appealed to me and overall I did not like the songs ( for RDB fan that is so hard).
    Love the ending!
    Rekha looks so georgeous and her saris are to die for!

  51. Almost everyone I’ve known who has seen this movie seems to have a different opinion. As for myself, I did find it slow and after a point could not care less about what was happening. The premise is good but there is not much beyond that. I agree with Raja about this being a 15 min story stretched too long.
    I feel the songs do not necessarily fit well in this movie but are great to listen to by themselves. RDB has been quoted in interviews as saying that when Gulzar offered him ‘Mera kuch samaan..’, he (RD) complained that there was nothing in it for him to set it to tune. However, he did the best he could. He jokingly called it the ‘postman’ song referring to the lyrics. Asha Bhosale, if I’m not mistaken got a National award for this one.

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