Sparsh – 80s romance at its sublime best…
Sparsh – The most effortless film viewing can ever get. You feel a breeze while the wind blows, a whiff of the heroine’s perfume’s scent when the hero mentions it. Sensitive to the core, the movie speaks a beautiful language of love, care and empathy.
1980s was perhaps the best decade for Hindi as it had talents like Naseeruddin Shah, Anupam Kher, Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil, Gulzar, Shyam Benegal, Rekha, Om Puri, Govind Nihalani, Shekhar Kapoor, Mahesh Bhatt and others churning out quality products with great periodicity. This film, in a way, marked the beginning of that era.
What sets the film apart is its unabashed simplicity. It offers a slice of life which at times is too slow for entertainment or too bitter to digest otherwise. The film educates us on how the blind are not objects of sympathy and how effectively can they conduct themselves. It underlines their needs and aspirations without projecting them as disabled. A major chunk of the film is spent in establishing Kavita’s (Shabana Azmi) relationship with the children at Aniruddh’s (Naseeruddin Shah) school. They have been shot with so much warmth and maturity that our heart wells up in favour of the protagonists. There are several sequences where Aniruddh is shown to rebel when he was offered help. The writer (Sai Paranjpye) etches this complex with colour and dexterity. The twist in the tale towards the finale where their relationship goes for a toss has been explored with maturity and understanding of human psyche.
Music by Kanu Roy is excellent and the background score offers a wonderful backdrop as it lends grace to the silent ambiance of the film. Songs like “Khali Pyala Dhundhla Darpan” & “Pyala Chhalka Ujla Darpan” are so effective that the outcome is totally mesmerizing. Cinematography is Gulzar-esque. The DOP captures the hill station atmosphere vividly. Dialogues of this film are among the best ever we’ve had in Hindi cinema.
Performances just can’t go wrong when we have Shah and Azmi in top form. It’s impossible to believe how Naseeruddin Shah embodies Aniruddh. He, literally, lives the character and the impact is out of this world. Shabana Azmi is restraint, grace and spontaneity personified. She merely reacts or expresses herself the way every one of us would do. There’s no theatrics of frills associated with performances, which elevates their chemistry manifold. Sudha Chopra is impressive in a significant cameo. The child artists and the rest of the cast offer able support.
Sparsh is completely a director’s film. The story could’ve been a little dull on paper but Sai Paranjpye’s masterful execution delivers a true classic out of a simple, romantic tale. The movie is a must-watch for all those who aspire to pursue a career in cinema as it is near perfect in almost all departments.