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Kitaab (1977) - (Movies To See Before You Die - Drama / Children Rare)

30 Jan, 2014 | Movies To See Before You Die / Drama

Kitaab - Bobby Talks Cinema.com

Poet, lyricist, writer & director GULZAR is known for many worth watching gems in his grand and illustrious career of more than five decades (and that’s more than half a century). But among his entire repertoire of many unique, powerful and significant films, KITAAB still stands tall as one of its own kind of film made in Hindi Cinema which has no close parallel to be named till date. In fact this is an entirely different film from the master film-maker talking about a 12 years old child or his world around. And Gulzar has made this film with such a remarkable vision that it seems that he somehow managed to get into the mind of a kid and then came out with so realistic, truthful and innocent interpretations of the world seen through his fresh & pure eyes.
Revolving around a lonely, thinking child Babla, who loves reading, writing and questioning about various subjects seen around, the film can easily be rated as the most innovative, emotional and thought provoking journey into a child’s psyche which not only entertains you well but also makes you realize the mistakes we all grownups make while dealing with the innocent kids in the age group of 8-12. The director beautifully follows his perfect vision with a distinctive style going back and forth into the days lived by Babla and very effectively showcases the confusions felt by him at every next step dealing with the old around.
The narration brilliantly captures every tiny observation made by him in his 2 days journey back to the village (after he runs away from the city) and then subtly indicates the growth experienced by the kid in these 2 days spent with the real outer world. The film not only displays the darker side of our questionable social standards but also exceptionally deals with the fantasies, misunderstandings, truthful depictions and confusions faced by every child of that age, in an unbelievably authentic manner.
To express it honestly, we all tend to fondly remember our childhood days with great love & affection, probably as the best part of our life till date. But in reality, when we were a child, we also did have our own small set of problems, pains & sorrows which we easily forget after becoming an adult, entering the real world. And perhaps that is the reason we are not able to understand the complex, curious or puzzled mindset of a child looking for his answers, which in turn develops a wide gap between an adult and his child unintentionally.
Gulzar’s KITAAB exactly deals with this basic gap between the two age groups and then insightfully explores the problematic world of a child, where he is quite amazed by the mean behavior of all the adults around, going beyond his level of understanding. Being a Gulzar-RD Burman film, it has some great songs too like Master Ji Ki Aa Gayi Chitthi (Shivangi & Padmini Kolhapure), Mere Saath Chale Na Saya (Sapan Chakraborty), Hari Din To Beeta Shaam Hui (Raajkumari) and the most famous one, Dhanno Ki Aankhon Mein sung by R. D. Burman himself.
Among the performances, KITAAB has got one of the most complete acts by a child actor in the history of Hindi Cinema, coming from Master Raju (Raju Shrestha) as Babla. And he gets great assistance by all the other kids featuring in the film too including Master Tito, Pankaj, Anees & Lucky. In the adults, Uttam Kumar delivers an admirable & lovable performance as Babla’s Jeeja Ji along with Vidya Sinha, Indrani Mukherjee,Dr. Shreeram Lagoo, Keshto Mukherjee, Asit Sen, Dina Pathak & more who all perfectly justify their given characters as required.
In short, Hindi cinema has not made many visionary gems focusing on a child’s world and Child psychology in an entertaining as well as enlightening way as depicted in KITAAB. The film not only makes you laugh in many of its well written sequences but also makes you feel the tears floating on your eyelids, emotionally sympathizing with the kid in its various life teaching moments. Putting it honestly, you probably might not have seen such a sincere, sensitive and introspective take on life in its purest form seen through the eyes of a 12 years old child before. And I am sure after watching it, your whole outlook towards the kids around would change drastically, turning you into a more empathetic and caring individual (or parent), very much concerned about their innocent vision of the world in that tender age.
And in case, anyone thinks that I might be exaggerating in my expression toward this rare, unforgettable yet one of the most ignored well made gems of our Indian Cinema, then just read one of the many pensive dialogues of the film given below, to give you a fair idea…….and then think about it once again!

(While riding the back of an ongoing tonga, Babla’s friend innocently asks him)
“Tune Teri Maa Ka Doodh Piya Hai?”
“Haan Maa To Kehti Hai Ke Piya Hun!” Babla answers.
“Usme Cheeni Hoti Hai????” the friend questions again.
And that’s what I call art, writing, vision and cinema in its purest form.
Lyrics & Directed By Gulzar
Written By Bhushan Banmali, Samaresh Basu, Debabrata Sengupta and Gulzar
Music : R. D. Burman
Starring : Master Raju (Raju Shrestha), Uttam Kumar, Vidya Sinha, Indrani Mukherjee, Dr. Shreeram Lagoo, Keshto Mukherjee, Asit Sen, Dina Pathak and more.

Tags : Kitaab (1977), Movies To See Before You Die Drama Children, Rare Films on Child Psychology, Must See Films List By Bobby Sing, Worth Watching Films List By Bobby Sing, Gulzar life teaching films, Not To Be Missed Films List by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com
30 Jan 2014 / Comments ( 6 )

Back after a long time. I hope u are doing well sir.. Well Kitaab is a a really nice movie by gulzarsaab. But again like many of his other films, Kitaab is too based on a bengali novel \'Pothik\' by the famed writer Samaresh Basu,who deserves credit for writing such a beautiful story.

Bobby Sing

Hi Raunak,
Yes, KITAAB is a great heart winning film and thanks for mentioning the novel it is based on. However I would just chek that whether they have mentioned the same in the opening titles or not and then include it in the write-up too since the original sourse does deserve a mention for sure.

Keep Visiting & Writing In,

Rupinder Kaur

Yes, Gulzar has acknowledged Samaresh Basu\'s \'Pathik\' in opening credits of \'Kitaab\'.

Anyway @bobbysing, it was nice to see you write a review for this wonderful movie.

Bobby Sing

Thanks for writing in with your kind praise Rupinder Kaur.
Do keep visiting.

m barua
One of the most unforgetable film of Gulzar. Great music by RDB, lots of variation of shots, climax. Proud to possess DVD of the movie
Bobby Sing

Indeed M. Barua.
Thanks for writing in and keep visiting.

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