|Directed by||Ravi Chopra|
|Produced by||B. R. Chopra|
B. R. Films
|Box office||₹431.1 million|
Baghban (transl. Gardener) is a 2003 Indian Hindi-language drama film directed by Ravi Chopra. The film narrates the story of an elderly couple, Raj (Amitabh Bachchan) and Pooja (Hema Malini), who have married for 40 years. After Raj retiring from his occupation, the two reunite with their four sons (Aman Verma, Samir Soni, Saahil Chadha, and Nasir Khan) to discuss about who will support their lives. However, none of them want to take care of their parents en bloc, causing Raj and Pooja live separately.
Baghban was conceived by the film's producer and co-writer B. R. Chopra in his 1960s trip across Europe, during which he visited a retirement home and was inspired by the story from the householders. The screenplay was subsequently finished in 1973, but he did not start the production for decades because he was busy with his another projects. After he revived it, the shooting was started by Barun Mukherjee in July 2002, taking place in Film City. Meanwhile, the film itself was officially announced the next month. Following the principal photography, it was jointly edited by Shailendra Doke, Godfrey Gonsalves, and Shashi Mane. The soundtrack was composed by Aadesh Shrivastava and Uttam Singh, with lyrics from Sameer.
Baghban premiered at the Leeds International Film Festival on 2 October 2003 and was released worldwide the next day. Made on a production cost of ₹70 million (US$980,000), the film emerged as a commercial success and collected ₹431.1 million (US$6.0 million) at the box office, the year's fifth-highest-grossing Indian film. It was met with mixed reviews from critics, some of whom praising the performances from Bachchan and Malini but panning its storyline and the chemistry between the lead actors. They were subsequently awarded with the Screen Award for Jodi No. 1; apart from that, Bachchan and Hema Malini also got nominations for Best Actor and Best Actress, respectively, at the 49th Filmfare Awards. In 2007, the film was remade in Kannada as Ee Bandhana.
Raj and his wife Pooja have married for 40 years, and have four sons: Ajay, Sanjay, Rohit, and Karan. The couple have an adopted son, Alok, who falls in love with Arpita. Alok was an orphan and Raj provided him with money and education, bringing him up as his own son. Now a successful man, Alok worships Raj because of all his help and thinks of him as his God. Raj once retires from his occupation, and is unable to support himself, leading him vacate the house he and Pooja have shared. They decide to live with their kids, but their kids do not want them. The children decide to split the parents up, with each parent going to live with one of the sons for the next six months. The children think their parents will refuse the offer and therefore, they will remain in their home. However, the parents reluctantly accept the offer.
Raj and Pooja endure this separation as well as horrible treatment from their children. For the first period, Raj stays with Sanjay and Pooja with Ajay, and later in the second period with Rohit and Karan, respectively. While living with Sanjay, Raj only gets love and affection from his grandson, Rahul. Saddened by the treatment he has received from his children, Raj writes down his feelings about how he fulfilled his children's dreams and, in return, how they treat him, as well as his love for his wife, and how much pain their separation has caused; the writing eventually becomes a novel. Meanwhile, Pooja gets abuse from Ajay and his daughter-in-law, Kiran, as well as her granddaughter, Payal. The lattermost, however, realises her mistake when Pooja saves her from her boyfriend's attempt to rape her and nurtures Pooja with love.
While changing their trains after six months, Pooja and Raj spend some time together in Vijaynagar. By chance, they meet Alok, who takes them to his home and gives them care which their real sons did not. Raj finds out that his writing has become a published book titled Baghban, after his friend Hemant, a café owner whom he meet during his stay with Sanjay. It becomes a huge commercial success, and, as a result, Raj gains the money he needs to support himself and Pooja. Their sons ask their parents for forgiveness, attending a special ceremony for the book with their wives. But when they ask Raj and Pooja to forgive them, they refuse and disown them for the pain their sons have put them through.
- Amitabh Bachchan as Raj Malhotra
- Hema Malini as Pooja Malhotra
- Salman Khan as Alok Raj (special appearance)
- Mahima Chaudhry as Arpita Raj (special appearance)
- Aman Verma as Ajay Malhotra
- Samir Soni as Sanjay Malhotra
- Saahil Chadha as Rohit Malhotra
- Nasir Khan as Karan Malhotra
- Divya Dutta as Reena Malhotra
- Suman Ranganathan as Kiran Malhotra
- Rimi Sen as Payal Malhotra
- Paresh Rawal as Hemant Patel
- Lillete Dubey as Shanti Patel
- Mohan Joshi as Khuber Desai
- Sharat Saxena as Ram Avtaar
- Arzoo Govitrikar as Priya Malhotra
- Anang Desai as Kapil Desai
- Yash Pathak as Rahul Malhotra
- Avtar Gill as Rawat
- Asrani as Bedi
- Gajendra Chauhan as a car salesman
- Sanjeeda Sheikh as Nilli
The idea of Baghban came up when the director and producer B. R. Chopra was in Copenhagen, Denmark, during a tour across Europe in the 1960s, and checked into a hotel which next to a retirement home. When asked by the magazine Screen about his experience there which later led him to make the film, he said that whenever he rested at the balcony, he would see elderly people were sitting at the bungalows. He revealed that, days later, he joined a couple there and started a conversation relating to their personal lives. The couple spoke of how they feel lonely because their children and grandchildren left them there; Chopra later stated that it motivated him to make a film around the topic. In an afternoon in 1973, during a holiday in Lonavla, he started writing the screenplay and stopped after fourteen hours, but finished it the next morning.
Back to Mumbai, Chopra met his son Ravi Chopra, who was shooting for the action drama Zameer, a 1975 release with Amitabh Bachchan and Saira Banu in the lead roles. During the filming, Banu told Ravi Chopra that she felt tired and wanted to continue it at Pali Hill. After being informed by this, B. R. Chopra invited his close friend, the actor Dilip Kumar, confessing that he would make a film with him. Several years later, at a special ceremony for B. R. Chopra's films, he asked Kumar about the project and the actor suggested to cast Rakhee Gulzar as his wife. However, for an unknown reason, B. R. Chopra did not fulfill his request although Gulzar lived exactly behind his office. At the same time, Banu fell ill and was moved to London, with Kumar, who is her husband, accompanying her; meanwhile, both B. R. Chopra and Ravi Chopra were busy with the production of Doordarshan's epic television series Mahabharat (1988–1990), leading Baghban to be shelved. According to Ravi Chopra, who was attracted to the story and wanted to direct it but was occupied in another projects, he had had several attempts to start the production, but he would always delay it because another subjects "kept coming to the fore".
After spending years in development hell, the project was finally revived with Achala Nagar was chosen to help B. R. Chopra writing the screenplay as well as the dialogue and story; Satish Bhatnagar, Ram Govind, and Shafiq Ansari also co-wrote them, with Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar helping the dialogue's finishing. The role of Raj Malhotra, which Ravi Chopra wanted to be play by Kumar, was given to Bachchan, because he stated that the former actor is already too old to play a 60-year-old man. Hema Malini was cast as his wife Pooja, who is five years younger than Raj. The Chopras originally wanted a much-younger actress to star opposite Bachchan, but they changed their mind to avoid difficulty on the make up—the actress would need more time to make herself look older. Malini was initially reluctant to play a film role unless she liked it and did not want to make her fans disappointed. When the story was narrated, she admitted that she had waiting for a long time to get a film suited with her age. B. R. Chopra's daughter-in-law Renu was her costume designer along with Neeta Lulla. In January 2003, it was reported Salman Khan and Mahima Chaudhry would make special appearances in the film.
The principal photography of Baghban was started in Film City on 18 July 2002, while the film itself was announced around a month later. Ravi Chopra later told the journalist Roshmila Bhattacharya that he was nervous during the period, calling it "an exam" for him. Produced on an estimated budget of ₹70 million (equivalent to ₹210 million or US$2.9 million in 2019), Barun Mukherjee was the cinematographer and Ashok Bhushan and Keshto Mondal designed the sets, with Vaibhavi Merchant choreographing the songs. The film also took place in London, United Kingdom. Following the finishing of the filming, the film was edited by Shailendra Doke, Godfrey Gonsalves, and Shashi Mane.
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||23 August 2003|
|Aadesh Shrivastava chronology|
Aadesh Shrivastava composed the soundtrack to Baghban, with lyrics from Sameer, except for "Holi Khele Raghuveera" by Harivansh Rai Bachchan. Shrivastava asked Amitabh Bachchan, with whom he shared positive rapport, to sing the song because he wanted the actor "to convey much more [...] right emotions" since he was also acting in it, though Amitabh Bachchan initially unwilled. Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik, Shrivastava, Hema Sardesai, Sudesh Bhosale, Richa Sharma and Sukhwinder Singh performed the vocals as well. Prior to Shrivastava, Uttam Singh had composed two songs for the film, however, Shrivastava was later signed to replace him for an undisclosed reason. Shrivastava also revealed that he was recording a song with the Sufi singer Abida Parveen, but he never wanted to finish it, believing that it would not "work". T-Series released the album on 23 August 2003.
The soundtrack album got positive response from music critics and, according to Shrivastava, it has gave him chances to prove his versatility. The Hindu noted that Amitabh Bachchan was the highlight of the album, praising all songs he sang, including "Holi Khele Raghuveera" which the critic found resembling "Rang Barse Bhige Chunar Wali" from the 1981 romantic drama Silsila. Writing for Planet Bollywood, Aniket Joshi observed: "Aadesh Shrivastava has done well with this album and it looks like he will score big time. In the future though, it would help if he chooses to experiment more and remain less ordinary." In a three-star mixed review for Mid Day, Narendra Kusnur called the album "a good break" for Shrivastava, while felt that the duration of the instrumental version of "Main Yahan Tu Wahan" was "far too lengthy". Joginder Tuteja of Bollywood Hungama rated the album three-and-a-half-out-of-five stars and concluded that no songs from it "that can be singled out to be 'not good'".
According to the film-trade website Box Office India, the film's soundtrack album emerged as the year's ninth highest-selling with 1.4 million units sold. Shrivastava later told the journalist Salma Khatib from Screen that the song "Holi Khele Raghuveera" became popular in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
|1.||"Pehle Kabhi Na Mera Haal"||Sameer||Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik||4:39|
|2.||"Chali Chali Phir" (Reprise)||Sameer||Aadesh Shrivastava, Hema Sardesai||1:41|
|3.||"Main Yahan Tu Wahan"||Sameer||Amitabh Bachchan, Alka Yagnik||7:03|
|4.||"Meri Makhna Meri Soniye"||Sameer||Sudesh Bhosale||7:00|
|5.||"Chali Chali Phir"||Sameer||Amitabh Bachchan, Aadesh Shrivastava, Hema Sardesai, Alka Yagnik||4:57|
|6.||"O Dharti Tarse Amber Berse"||Sameer||Amitabh Bachchan, Richa Sharma||10:10|
|7.||"Holi Khele Raghuveera"||Harivansh Rai Bachchan||Amitabh Bachchan, Sukhwinder Singh, Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan||5:39|
|8.||"Meri Makhna Meri Soniye" (Instrumental)||Sameer||7:00|
|9.||"Om Jai Jagdish" (Arti)||Sameer||Udit Narayan, Sneha Pant||3:38|
Baghban garnered huge pre-release anticipation from the audience, owing to its pairing of Amitabh Bachchan and Malini for the first time in 20 years since the action film Andha Kanoon (1983). B. R. Chopra and Ravi Chopra had big expectations of the film, and they were targeting families. The film premiered at the Leeds International Film Festival in the United Kingdom on 2 October 2003, while its worldwide release happened a day later. Opened during the celebration of Vijayadashami, it faced competition from Yusuf Khan's action thriller Khel: No Ordinary Game and Chandan Arora's comedy-drama Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon. Baghban was released in DVD on 17 November the same year as a single-disc pack in NTSC widescreen format. Its television rights were sold to Sony Entertainment Television for ₹80 million (US$1.1 million), and the worldwide premiere occurred on 21 February 2004. The film has been available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video since 30 November 2016.
Journalists presumed the positive word-of-mouth publicity of Baghban played important roles in the film's commercial performance. It was released on 275 screens across India and grossed ₹9 million (US$130,000) on the first day, collecting ₹29.2 million (US$410,000) by the end of its first weekend and ₹53.9 million (US$760,000) after running for a week. Baghban earned a total of ₹310.3 million (US$4.4 million) in India, becoming the fifth-highest-grossing Indian film of 2003. Abroad, after a week, the film had earned ₹41.6 million (US$580,000). Following its theatrical run there, it grossed ₹120.8 million (US$1.7 million), the year's third-highest-grossing Indian film by its overseas collection; in a end-year box-office report, The Hindu stated that most of the revenues were from Asian countries. Summing the film's total gross in India and overseas, the film-trade website Box Office India estimated Baghban earned ₹431.1 million (US$6.0 million), making itself the fifth-highest-grossing Indian film that year.
Baghban was met with mixed reviews from critics, with some of whom praising the performance, mostly that from Amitabh Bachchan and Malini, but panned the chemistry between the actors as well as the film's story. Writing for the entertainment portal Bollywood Hungama, Taran Adarsh rated the film two stars and appreciated Bachchan for delivering a "powerful" and "memorable" performance, while described Malini as "elegant and conveys the pathos convincingly". Seema Pant of Rediff.com said that the film belongs to them, adding, "Baghban has a high emotional quotient. Director Ravi Chopra retains his audience's interest in the lives of Raj and Puja Malhotra. Despite some unconvincing moments in the plot, Baghban keeps the viewers involved all the way to the climax." The director and critic Khalid Mohamed gave the film three stars, believing that it "is unthinkable without the imperishable grace and beauty projected" from Malini. However, he negatively compared the direction to that of Indian typical television shampoo advertisements and dismissed the cinematography and production design as "old worldly as bell bottoms".
Ziya Us Salam summarised, "Chopra, on his part, brings a rare sight to the Indian screen. Here the aged couple is, yes, aged. Yet the romance is still very much a part of their life. The ardour for physical fulfilment may have gone but the need for proximity is there. Also there is an ability to take in stride an odd mischief of youth, now just a fleeting visitor, an odd smile to respect an emotion which once made its home on a beautiful visage." Mid Day's Narendra Kusnur, who gave the film three stars, declared Bachchan's performance as one of his best after the 1990s. Ram Kamal Mukherjee of Stardust saw that the film was probably inspired by Bengali novelist Prafulla Roy's Shajano Bagan (which later adapted by Girish Chandra Ghosh into a play), but wrote that it remains as one of the finest Bollywood films from the decade. On the special appearances, Mukherjee claimed that Salman Khan had delivered a "seasoned" performance and, in contrast, labelled Chaudhry as a "total waste". In an article carried by Filmfare, the magazine's critic Gautam Buragohain was ambivalent of the film, taking note of the performances of the cast but found the story to be "stale"; he believed that the plot was based on another film of the same themes, the 1983 drama Avtaar, and thought Baghban was "predictable".
Parag Chandrabala Maniar, who reviewed the film to B4U, agreed with Buragohain about the themes from the film that is similar to that from Avtaar, however, Maniar gave Baghban a more positive reception. While commenting that the first of Baghban was "predictable" and "hackneyed", he opined that Bachchan was "excellent" with his role as Raj, saying that he was "conveying love, anger and pain through his intelligent eyes. Bachchan makes the film worth a watch!" In the words of Rajen Garabadu from NDTV, "Baghban dwells on the new generation, their false aspirations and confused priorities [...] The film is replete with its fair share of drama (sometimes a little exaggerated), song and dance sequences and a couple of blows delivered here and there. Ravi Chopra has not experimented too much. He has wisely invested in human love, affection and familial bonding to reap the rewards for him." In the then-defunct tabloid The Afternoon Despatch & Courier, the theatre and film critic Deepa Gahlot felt that the film's plot was "terribly worn out" and "very 60s", but the chemistry of Bachchan and Malini (as well as their performances) were able to increase the audience's enthusiasm and cover the film's flaws.
In an article published by The Times of India, Parul Gupta described Khan's brief appearance in a role of Raj's and Pooja's adopted son as "a picture of the obedient offspring" and asserted the film was "larger-than-life". Sify's Kunal Shah observed that, although he was sure that Chopra had addressed the themes in his previous ventures, the director "has been successful in coming up with good performances from the lead cast". In her two-star review, Namrata Joshi of Outlook criticized the film's long duration, explaining there are too many sequences of "family functions" in it. Meanwhile, he applauded the actors' performance, especially Bachchan, and said the film "seems to have been tailormade" for his fans. Joshi also stated that he overshadowed Malini with his "perfect efficiency and elan", although Joshi also gave Malini praise for her "fetching and elegant" look. K. N. Vijiyan of the New Straits Times called the film "the perfect comeback vehicle" for Malini, and Derek Elley of Variety concluded: "It takes stars of Bachchan and Hema Malini's stature to make the confection work, and luckily they're both up to the job, creating a palpable sense of the couple’s mutual affection ..." From Empire, Omar Ahmed lauded Baghban of its exploration of family values and Indian culture.
|Bollywood Movie Awards||Most Sensational Actor||Hema Malini||Won|||
|Best Story||B. R. Chopra||Won|
|Filmfare Awards||Best Film||Baghban||Nominated|||
|Best Actor||Amitabh Bachchan||Nominated|
|Best Actress||Hema Malini||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor||Salman Khan||Nominated|
|International Indian Film Academy Awards||Best Film||Baghban||Nominated|||
|Best Director||Ravi Chopra||Nominated|
|Best Actor||Amitabh Bachchan||Nominated|
|Best Actress||Hema Malini||Nominated|
|Best Performance in a Comic Role||Paresh Rawal||Nominated|
|Best Story||B. R. Chopra||Nominated|
|Best Lyricist||Sameer (for "Main Yahan Tu Wahan")||Nominated|
|Best Male Playback Singer||Amitabh Bachchan (for "Main Yahan Tu Wahan")||Nominated|
|Producers Guild Film Awards||Best Film||Baghban||Nominated|||
|Best Costume Design||Manish Malhotra, Neeta Lulla, Vikram P., Tilakha P.||Nominated|
|Screen Awards||Best Actor||Amitabh Bachchan||Nominated|||
|Best Actress||Hema Malini||Nominated|
|Jodi No. 1||Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini||Won|
|Stardust Awards||Best Director||Ravi Chopra||Nominated|||
|Breakthrough Performance – Female||Rimi Sen||Nominated|
|Zee Cine Awards||Best Film||Baghban||Nominated|||
|Best Actor – Male||Amitabh Bachchan||Nominated|
|Best Actor – Female||Hema Malini||Nominated|
|Best Playback Singer – Male||Sudesh Bhosale (for "Meri Makhna Meri Soniye")||Nominated|
|Best Female Debut||Rimi Sen||Nominated|
|Best Re-recording||Kuldeep Sod||Nominated|
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