Sunday, May 31, 2009

Khatta Meetha

After a spree of watching masala Tamil films, I was in the mood for something sweet, simple, and non-violent. Khatta Meetha turned out to be just the right choice.

His kids: the shiftless one; the musical one; the sporty one; and the little one.

Homi Mistry (Ashok Kumar) is a widower with four sons, and Nargis Sethna (Pearl Padamsee) is a widow with two sons and a daughter. Their kids, like most kids, are a bit self-absorbed, and they don't help much with the housework and other family concerns. At the instigation of some mutual friends, Homi and Nargis meet and decide to get married to have someone to help carry the load. It doesn't hurt that they really hit it off as well.

The first meeting.

Neither set of kids is pleased by the news that their parents are getting married, and they're even less happy when they discover after the marriage that they've acquired new siblings as well. They squabble constantly with each other, while their parents handle the whole situation with grace and patience.

One of my favorite scenes: the oldest son gets ready to duke it out with the sporty kid
who charges straight past him, maintaining his karate stance the whole time.

Of course, the family members have their own personal problems as well. In particular, Nargis's eldest son (Rakesh Roshan, sporting some really ugly 80s glasses) is in love with the daughter of a rich businessman (Bindiya Goswami) who does not approve of the match, while Nargis's daughter Freni (Preeti Ganguli) is constantly being teased by her brothers about her weight and fears she'll never get married.

As they deal with these individual issues and as problems arise from outside, the family members learn to pull together and really become a family. The movie isn't amazingly thrilling or anything like that, but it's got a lot of sweet and funny and touching little moments. As usual, Ashok Kumar puts in a great performance as the humble but dignified father of this blended family. If you're looking for a sweet movie about familial love and you've exhausted your Sooraj Barjatya collection, Khatta Meetha might just hit the spot.