Nagesh Kukunoor has done it yet again. Taken the no-glamour no-frills approach and come up with yet another wonderful movie. Here's my analysis of the movie.
Dor is the story of 2 women - Zeenat (played by Gul Panag) and Meera (Ayesha Takia). Zeenat lives in a small town in Himachal Pradesh while her husband, Aamir leaves for Saudi Arabia in search of work. In the meantime, Meera stays in a village in Rajasthan and her husband too moves to Saudi in search of work. Meera's husband dies in Saudi an what seems to be an unfortunate accident. But Aamir is accused of killing him. Now according to Saudi's laws, only if Meera signs on the certificate of forgiveness, Aamir's death penalty can be averted. Dor is the story of this search for Meera and her forgiveness.
The characterisations are worthy of applause. On one side we have Zeenat who is a small-village woman; but who lives life according to principles. According to hew _own_ principles. Who believes that a person should be the owner of her own life and should be in control of it.
On the other hand we have Meera, who is the typical rural Indian woman; who has no say in her own life; who lives life according to rules set down by others.
Gul Panag has shown a lot of maturity in her role. She has done good justice to the character who is determined to save her innocent husband and a woman who stands by her ideals. And Shreyas Talpade has (needless to say) excelled in his role as a bahuroopiya who helps Zeenat in the search. He is however more of a guest appearance I would say. The entire movie rests purely on the shoulders of Gul and Ayesha. That brings us to Ayesha Takia's performance.
Well, I would say she is trying to do mature roles, but I'm afraid that this particular role was a case of too far too soon for her. Although she has done a good job of portraying emotions in her scenes, her dialogue delivery is mediocre at best.
The main thing that strikes you throughout the movie is its simplicity. There's absolutely no glamour at all. The locations are also well chosen. Only the village in the mountains of Himachal (breathtakingly scenic I should add) and the village in the deserts of Rajashtan.
The movie follows the main storyline and sticks to it. The first half doesn't seem so engrossing. But the second half is better articulated. Love is the main theme of course - That's what even the movie's caption says "How far would you go to save the one you love?" But there's more to it.
Dor also highlights the importance of having principles in life and sticking to them. Its about believing in your values and taking on the society if you are convinced that you are doing the right thing.
Then Dor sends out a message of the importance of friendship and of how a good friend can dramatically turn around your life.
Finally, Dor once again exposes the shockingly inhuman treatment of women in general and widows in particular; in rural India. While widowers are allowed to re-marry, widows are expected to spend the rest of their lives mourning their dead husbands.
I was really moved by Dor. The down-to-earthliness which is evident from start to end, the storyline and the message conveyed - all combine to make it a good movie. The similarity between the 2 women in spite of the stark contrast has been depicted really well. This movie is symbolic of feminism; but with a change. Unlike hitherto feminist movies which have concentrated on the one-off urban modern woman (a-la Corporate), this one motivates the everyday, rural Indian woman to take control of her own life.
I would recommend it to those of you who wouldn't mind a little serious, thought-provoking movie. But if you are just looking for fun or time pass, then this is not the movie for you.