Why ‘Bawarchi’ is the most relevent movie in today’s day and age
Bawarchi or The Cook as you can call it in English is an Indian movie released in the early 70s. It’s a classic! A classic made with the idea of the changing times with a message still relevant today. In this day and age, movies with messages are a must. Very few films include an idea with subtle messages with hidden meanings. Today I am going to talk about this film and its relevance.
The film’s story revolves around a house – ‘Shanti Niwas’. It houses a joint family living in different rooms under one roof. There are two primary earning members – both the brothers work different jobs. One daydreaming wannabe music producer son (Asrani), a wannabe classical dancer, a kid and another girl (Jaya Bachchan) is still in college with deceased parents. The veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan’s voice is unrecognisable in the movie’s opening narration.
The pacing of the film is just right since it proceeds with character development steadily.
“Shanti” means peace, but in the movie reflects its antonym instead! House members cannot get along with one another. They are too demanding with their needs. The film revolves on their desire for a cook who can take care of their needs so. Do not be surprised to hear a few dialogues in English. I wasn’t!
In the chaos that ensues, late veteran actor Rajesh Khanna who essays the role of Bawarchi – shows up and puts the whole house in order. He does it with ease and how he does that you need to see. He does it with subtle messages and things that we have forgotten as humans.
Why should you watch this film? (Spoiler alert!)
It is not just about the message but the performances as well. Every character has done justice to their respective roles. The film deliberately throws the audience off-course. But, there is an interesting twist towards the end.
The film’s relevance in today’s times:
It’s the messages that matter. The thoughts are equally important. Thought non-pursuant with actions that give harmful results. In India, people generally say, ‘A fired bullet and spoken words do not return’.
A bullet similar to spoken words can make or break, save a life or take a life.
Several decades earlier, India had many joint families. A joint family is where the parents, brothers, sisters, their wives, husbands, children, uncle and aunts would either stay under one big roof, the same floor of the building or occupy different rooms of the bungalow. The house living structure varies.
Some business families still have a joint family as long as theirs is a family-run business. Since the dawn of modernity, joint families have little to no relevance. I am surprised to know that it still exists in some part of the country. A nuclear family is the norm and has nothing to do with western influence.
The movie is fun to watch even if you have seen it before. The message is subtly narrated towards the end when the twists appear. It is only then the message sinks and truly realised the purpose.
There are many such films I would like to talk in future posts. Bawarchi is one such film you should see. Such classic films do not disappoint. It is available in Amazon Prime Video. I have also shared the YouTube link at the beginning of the post.