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Main Zinda Hoon (1988) (Movies To See Before You Die - Drama)

26 Feb, 2014 | Movies To See Before You Die / Drama

An admirable film by Sudhir Mishra, this is one of those significant movies of Indian Cinema, which strongly points towards our ages old traditional rituals and asks that why its only the woman, who always finds herself at the suffering end unconditionally? An enlightening story which forces you to sit back and look at this serious plight of a newlywed girl, who actually has no-where to go when suddenly her husband goes missing and the paternal home is also not ready to accept her back fearing the social criticism.

In fact, this was the film which made me think about the real home of a woman, once she is married and sent into her husband’s house following the traditional ritual. Now Is it her father’s home or the husband’s house which can be called as her own in any extreme situation? Yes, as per the Indian tradition it has to be her husband’s house always and she needs to spend her entire life in that new home only till she dies. But what if the husband is not there, what if he just goes missing after only a few weeks or months of a marriage, running away from his family responsibilities. Will she be treated the same way like a daughter by everyone in the house after this shocking unexpected incident or she would soon be considered as just a guest expected to return back home in the next few days.
The film asks this first important question in the early part of the story and then shows the changes in all its key characters, when the newlywed starts doing a job and brings home the money to meet the expenses with. The attitude changes, the tone is different and the love blossoms once again all of a sudden for the young girl, looking after the house like a man. But now what if the girl falls in love with another person and decides to get married. Would her new parents (in-laws) be interested in marrying her again with another man? Would they readily agree to let the “Golden Goose” move away from their house all of a sudden? And Is the girl also ready to leave her new family just like that for the sake of her newly acquired love?
Anyway, moving ahead they all find a solution and the matter is settled soon, taking care of everyone involved. But wait, it’s not all over yet as now what if the husband returns from his secret exile one fine day? How the poor girl is going to face this upsetting turmoil and what she is supposed to do now as per the Indian tradition? The attitudes have changed again, the tone is no more the same and the love has simply vanished from the old eyes staring at her in anger. Its like a suicidal moment for the girl and nobody has got anything in mind to solve this unusual situation at all. And that’s where Sudhir Mishra’s thoughtful title makes you think about the helpless, unfortunate girl who is screaming loudly…………that please think about me, please somebody think about me………….Main Zinda Hoon!........I am still alive!
Admitting it honestly, this was the film which made me accept the truth that a woman is much stronger than a man from the inside unarguably and she goes through much more rough weathers in her life in comparison to the man. Particularly in our part of the world, where all the centuries old traditions are simply formed with a sick, one sided mindset, favouring the man alone.  
Recalling those college years, when I first saw this film in the mid-nineties, its concluding moments were hugely disturbing for me and I was unable to think anything else for a few days. The mind just kept wondering on the inner gifted strength a woman has, enabling her to face such severe twists and turns of life so calmly. And to say the truth, MAIN ZINDA HOON made me respect the identity of a woman much more than ever before. So I would certainly like to thank writer-director Sudhir Mishra for making this socially relevant movie with such a hard-hitting execution as required.
Now I don’t know how the today’s net generation would see this movie in the present times. But if I am asked then this is one of those important films which can still become a major life teaching lesson for any young seeker on the path who wishes to know more about this life and its hidden disgraceful truths related with the suppressed identity of a woman. It’s a film which makes you realize ‘the respect’ she deserves from every single person in both her homes, before and after the marriage in any extreme unfortunate situation. Plus MAIN ZINDA HOON reminds you that a woman also has a right to live as per her own will and the men are just not the owners as is being taught to us from many centuries through our questionable traditions & scriptures.
It has one of the career best performances of Deepti Naval playing the girl in a dilemma and she gets some great support from her immensely talented co-stars namely Rajendra Gupta, Pankaj Kapur, Alok Nath and Kulbhushan Kharbanda. After watching the film, the final appearances of Deepti Naval keep haunting you for many days and that’s the power of great cinema which actually makes you think and see our own shortcomings upfront, like a great teacher. Its music has it own precious role in portraying the tense moments and Sudhir Mishra has directed it with all his heart and soul, visible in its every frame.
A must watch film; MAIN ZINDA HOON was sadly not available in the home video market for a very long time but now can be seen at NFDC's portal Cinemasofindia.com for a subscription or a nominal one time price. And that is indeed a great portal for friends who would love to have this enriching experience at the earliest and explore many more lesser talked about masterpieces from our own Indian Cinema too, that were earlier not available in any format.
Written & Directed By Sudhir Mishra
Starring: Deepti Naval, Rajendra Gupta, Pankaj Kapur, Alok Nath, Kulbhushan Kharbanda & more.
Music - Sharang Dev    Lyrics - Javed Akhtar

Tags : Main Zinda Hoon (1988) Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Movies To See Before You Die Drama, Must Watch Films List by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Worth Watching Movies From Indian Cinema, Sudhir Mishra Classic Movies
26 Feb 2014 / Comment ( 2 )
Niharika Bordoloi

Hi,you have brilliantly brought out the different issues the movie deals with.i had the opportunity of watching this brilliant movie during these lockdown period.and I must admit, it brought tears to my eyes especially during the conversation between the daughter and the father,even after his demise.i feel it is his presence in her life,that she is able to build a strong mindset and overcome the challenges .

Bobby Sing

Really glad that you watched the film and appreciated it too Niharika.
Thanks a lot for writing your valuable views in comments.

Keep Watching great cinema and keep visiting here for more.

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