It is not a movie that defines simplicity. It is beyond that. It gave meaningful insights of my life in a very succinct manner. I don't have to be a poor man, or a Muslim, or a brilliant critic, or a rural person to understand it. That's the beauty of the movie. I have always believed that every human being has a good and negative spirit within him. But, one of them is always dormant for reasons better known to us. Abu reveals the good spirit that is perhaps dormant in many of us. Maybe it needs a reason like wanting to go to Hajj to unveil the positive energy within us.
There were subtle moments in the picture that made me smile wide open even though unintended. When Abu comes back home, discussing about his business not doing too well, he said about how people only cared about Gulf-made perfumes. Back in Muscat , every time an Omani woman would pass by swaying her abaya the rich scent of Attar would hypnotize my senses for few seconds. That strong was it's scent. Though all the young teen cousins of mine would demand for any, just any perfume that has an Arabic price tag on it , I would be gleefully looking at the Attar that would be kept on an exclusive shelf of the store.
The first time he woke up from a nightmare , deterred, which in contrary was a dream of his journey to Hajj , it not only showed how beautiful the experience was but also how difficult it is to get there. Dreams are my favourite . The only time you can just imagine you are on a roller coaster ride , licking your favourite praline and cream from Baskin Robbins , set in the middle of the Grand Canyon, blissfully closing your eyes to the beautiful Rahman number in the background. Where else can you picture all this that too for free??? :))
When Abu and his wife began their preparations for Hajj, there was this scene where the lady was posing for her passport size photograph. Once the photographer captures the face, there is this smile she gives to Abu that is kind of an approval of having done justice to all the time she took in getting herself ready for the moment. A smile of assurance that could mean so many things na? For some it is plain arrogance if you don't smile with your teeth shown, for some it means nothing more than diplomacy, for some it is a moment etched forever in their minds and for some - plastic. What I found more innocent was the way Abu jittered after he was photographed. The same kind of jitter that happens when you are caught unaware. That one expression was so captivating that I really had to take a moment from the reality of the character to appreciate the skills of the director, Salim Ahmed. Another scene that was humorous was when his wife thought that Mukesh's character resembles their only son who abandoned them, Abu , very bluntly, replies how good a person is Mukesh unlike their son. At a time when one would think he would remember his son and it would be one of those tear jerker scenes.. Salim Ahmed strikes yet again with a tinge of unintended humour :)
All said and done when Abu is unable to go to Hajj due to lack of funds, I really wanted to tell him that he doesn't have to go there to consider himself closer to God. Because, he already was God in disguise. To have a pure heart, a forgiving mind and honesty ..is in it's own way very divine. But what made me realize that he (here I am referring 'he' to Abu & the common man) is not God and can never be one ..is when he talked about why God never let him make it to Hajj despite his honest efforts and wishful thinking. Quoting the famous Om Shanti Om dialogue - Kisi cheez ko pure dil se chaaho, toh puri kayinat use tumse milane me lag jaati hai. I guess he didn't wish enough. In the climax - Abu and his wife were discussing about how they would have been celebrating at Hajj if they could make it on time , etc , there was a very valid point highlighted by him - How selfish a man is for his wants. We are never content with our needs and keep going to whatever extent possible to own everything we want. Abu, is too innocent by considering his idea of selling the tree, grown in his garden , a selfish deed. That was one of the ways to collect his money for Hajj. He felt God has punished him for doing that since the tree is also a living thing. A very thoughtful message. I don't know if there are any selfless deeds a man indulges himself into because at the end , Abu, plants another small sapling into the soil. With this deed he intends to go to Hajj the next year.
I don't want to underrate it by calling to simple, beautiful and meaningful. It is a movie that will surely open your eyes to the needful side in you that is inevitably hovered by the wishful side :) Don't watch it because you are a proud Malayali or because it won the National award. That way you'll only be able to clap hands during entitles instead of sinking into what Salim Ahmed has portrayed. This movie also speaks of how the 'superstar tag' is never a hindrance in creativity that is born out of such conviction. I'm luvin it :)
P.S. Sorry I am not a great writer who can ornament every scene in a manner by which I can compel you to watch this movie. Bare with it please :)