In a nutshell, Babul is just what you’d expect it to be, a syrupy family flick, with dollops of emotions, melodrama, nice locales, melodious songs, and great performances. Maybe that’s why I wont watch it again, because it did not surprise me!
That does not mean I did not enjoy the movie. I did enjoy it a lot, but there are myriad reasons for that enjoyment (Secrets!). So Babul basically tells us the story of a widow, and about her return to normality, acceptance by society, through her remarriage. It addresses some worthy issues commendably, but misses out on some too. More on that later.
The first half is a breeze, with nice feel good scenes and some good comedy by Rajpal Yadav. It concentrates on the love story between Salman and Rani, while balancing it with the family bonds between Salman, Big B and Hemaji. John Abraham is just about there in the first half. There are songs galore, which flow smoothly with the movie, but not the types that you would want to go and listen at home.
The second half is complete tear jerker, with Salman’s accident at the interval, and the consequences thereafter. There are some really touching scenes, which resonate with your raw emotional chords, but they are in bits and pieces. There are some moments which just seem forced. The climax song by John Abraham is awesome, and so is the title track sung naturally by Big B himself which plays in the background.
The editing is the worst culprit in the movie, it seems the movie had become too big, and so there are some highly unbelievable transitions between scenes, and a few seem incomplete. The music, as I said, is pleasant, but there are just a couple of songs which stay with you. Cinematography is usual, background score is effective.
Salman is endearing while he is there, but a college return is too much to digest! Rani is good, but nothing different from her other movies. There are two scenes though which really show her prowess. Hema Malini is a treat to watch. She looks good, speaks eloquently, and acts effortlessly. The real performance, yet again, comes from Big B. He is just amazing! He carries the movie in the second half almost alone! Special mention must be made of John Abraham, I just loved him in the movie. His expressions at his childhood love Rani choosing someone else, and at her marriage, are just so real, and so painful, it just broke my heart! It is better than being a smiling sacrificer, this portrayal is more real.
Now coming to the issues I had with the issues discussed in the movie. The director Ravi Chopra shows that Rani remarries not because she loves John, but because Big B shows her the way. This is understandable, since it is hard to love someone after being with your love for so long. But, surely there could be some reasons for a woman herself to feel like remarrying, other than the kid getting a father! I mean, being practical and progressive, physical needs, emotional support, friendship, companionship, there are myriad reasons why a woman can wish to wed again! This movie misses those reasons. But then again, that wasn’t expected! So, all in all, money well spent, and movie well enjoyed, for reasons not limited to the merits of the movie!