Dor : A movie larger than life


It was an ordinary Sunday and I was looking for any bollywood comedy movie in afternoon. I really like bollywood masala movies which has comedy, action, emotion and drama everything in it. But unfortunately, I had watched all the movies in my laptop already and there were no such movie left to entertain me in boring weekend afternoon. Suddenly I saw there was a movie ‘Dor’ which was still not watched by me. This movie was released in 2005 and I heard about this movie that it is critically acclaimed movie, which won many awards. I was not in mood to watch any critically acclaimed serious art movie, but no more option available to me. I gave a chance to this movie, thought, let’s look it for fifteen minutes and if it holds my interest than I will look further. I watched that movie for next fifteen minutes, thirty minutes, one hour, two hour….oops I watched complete movie without any break. I was completely immersed in the ocean of such a great movie. What a movie it was, nice, excellent, fantastic, amazing, awesome…all these words looks little to praise this movie. A movie, which leaves great impact on my speculation and contemplation. It heals my core and gives a complete new voyage to my soul, spirit and wisdom.

This movie is the story of two women, Zeenat, a Muslim woman in Himachala Pradesh and, Meera, a Rajput woman in Rajasthan. Husband of both ladies worked together in Saudi Arabia. One day Meera’s husband was dead in an accident at Saudi Arabia. Although it was an accident, blame goes to Zeenat’s husband as he was the only one person present at accident location. And here the destiny’s game started. After the death of husband, Meera lives a life of Rajput widow, a life worst than prisoner. She lives such rough life as society doesn’t allow widow to taste different flavors of life such as music, dance, good food, relationship or any other enjoyment. She lives in a prison type of dark room, sleeps on floor without any bed or bed sheet and wears a special blue dress that indicate her a Rajput widow. All colors and enjoyment of her life burns out with the funeral of her husband for the sake of orthodox customs.

On one side, this accident crushed Meera’s life like a storm and, other side it pushed Zeenat’s life on a path with full of thrones and cinders. Indian embassy informed Zeenat that they can save her husband only if they get a forgive letter signed by widow of dead person.  They don’t have much information about dead person ‘Shankar’ as the address given on his passport was fake address of Jaipur. Indian embassy shows their inability to find Shankar in such a big state Rajasthan. Here the journey of Zeenat starts. She started her way to find Shankar’s wife and family in Rajashan with just a photo of Shankar and her husband. She found an impressionist in Jaipur who helped her on the search of Shankar’s widow and family. This story depicts all about journey of Zeenat in search of Meera (widow of Shankar) and mollify her to sign forgive letter. Meanwhile it also shows the true path of faith and self belief to Meera and inspires het to get freedom from such hell life and orthodox social customs.

Story may look very simple and filmi on first look but visualization of this story is indeed great. You can really feel Zeenat’s determination to save her husband in the movie. This movie make you believe the famous line of Alchemist “When you want something with true heart, the entire universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Zeenat has nothing with her except love for husband and desire to save her. But her path is not so easy; she has no information about dead person (Shankar) except a photo; her money and luggage were stolen on the way to Rajasthan; few lust cops try to attack her; Shankar’s family throw her out after spitting on mouth and Shankar’s widow called her a cheater. But she never give-up anywhere, not even when Meera(Shankar’s widow) refused to pardon her husband. Every time her spirit put her back on the way to destination. It seems there was something that shows her way at every mile stone. It may be her true love, it may be her spirit and desire to save husband, it may be her इमान (faith) or it may be her खुदा (God).  This also expresses in her dialog इतना मालूम हे वो (खुदा) मेरी मदद जरूर करेगा ! मुझे यकी हैं, मैं इन माफीनामो के कागजात पर दस्तखत करा के ही लौटूंगी!

Zeenat was tough and courageous lady and on the other side, Meera (Shankar’s widow) was simple and innocent. After the death of husband, society took the right from her, to live a life of her choice. She want to live in a manner that her husband wanted her to live. She wants to smile, talk with friends and family members, enjoy music and dance, eat good food,  wear dresses of her own choice, but every time she finds the obligations of social customs in her feet. And this innocent lady gets confused whom to follow, her heart or social customs. She finds the answer of this question from the friendship with Zeenat. Zeenat paints the empty canvas of Meera’s life with color of friendship. Zeenat encouraged her to take decision on her own, to live a life like the way she want to live, and to enjoy life as it is still beautiful. Zeenat’s vision clearly reflects in her dialog – कभी-कभी हमें रोकने वाला सबसे बड़ा संतरी होता हैं हमारा अपना डर……अपने आप के लिए जीना स्वार्थ हैं, पर अपनी ख्वाहिशो का गला घोटना उससे भी बड़ा गुनाह…..कभी अपने मन की बात सुनो, उसकी ताल से ताल मिलाओ, तो जीने का मज़ा कुछ और ही हैं ………..और जब रास्ते में कोई रुकावट आ जाये तो आँखे बंद करो और लगाओ छलांग…इमान की छलांग… और गर इमान साथ हो तो यकीन मानो पार भी जरूर पहुचोगे! In short, Meera finds true way to live a life from her bonding (Dor) with Zeenat, a way of faith and self belief.

Although Meera and Zeenat were lead characters in the movie, my talk will be incomplete without describing about an interesting character. He was the impressionist (बहरूपिया) in the movie, who helps Zeenat to find Shankar’s family in Rajasthan. This character is full of jolliness. His act may not cause laughing out loud but it tickles to every one’s heart. When he finds Zeenat in trouble, he not only returns stolen money and other things to her, but also helps her till when they find Shankar’s family. In the climax of the movie, he also expresses her love for Zeenat. But it was not the ordinary love of a man for woman, it was a love of a person to other person, it was a salute to spirit of a woman who crosses a long distance and come to Rajasthan to save her love. This impressionist character reminds us the angel that appear in stories to help the main hero. I strongly believe God always send such angels to help us when we are in trouble, sometime these angels are from someone around us and sometime they come with completely unknown face; it’s just the thing that we are not able to identify them that he/she is our angel, and this is the beauty of God that he help us without let us know.

As per the story and screenplay side, everything is perfect. A story beautifully written and screenplay very well executed. Every scene has ability to hold audience interest. There are many scenes which simply touches heart. Specially, decision of zeenat to go Rajasthan in search of shankar’s family without thinking not even for a minute, Dancing of widow on the street when no one is looking her, offer of help by impressionist to troubled lady, grand mother’s sympathy for Meera, expression of love by impressionist, camel drive and Kazarare-Kazarare dance by all three characters and good bye letter of Zeenat to Meera.  Each and every dialog in the movie clearly reflects the mindset and emotion of character. Dialogs of this movie are in Hindi but Urdu words used in between (especially by Zeenat) were overwhelming. If we listen dialogs of this movie carefully, it gives beautiful messages about love, spirit, ache, friendship, bonding, spirituality and humanity in creative manner.  Specially dialogs between beg sahib and Zeenat, Zeenat and impressionist, and Zeenat and Meera. Final good bye letter of Zeenat to Meera was mind blowing. It realizes us true meaning of friendship.

On the direction and picturisation side, this movie did a wonderful job. All scenes were beautifully directed.  One can enjoy hills and greenery at Himachala and desert of Rajasthan at same time while watching this movie. Director used desert beautifully to show soreness of widow woman. In fact, director uses many things beautifully to convey emotions like Tabij, Rasgullas, threads at tree, temple and letter.

On acting side, Gul Panag gingers up the role of Zeenat on screen. She looks pretty confident in the de-glamorous role of Muslim lady and her dialog delivery was excellent. Especially some dialogs with Urdu words become very beautiful. Ayesha Takia totally justifies her role of Meera. Her cute face and beautifulness helps to look simple and innocent on screen. She succeeded to show soreness of widow and at the same time she was equally good to show joy and happiness of young girl, especially in camel drive and Kazarare-Kazarare scenes. Shreyas Talpade was very natural in the role of naughty and jolly impressionist. His role may be little and he may not be the center of attraction in the movie, but his acting skill makes this role indeed great. I feel that this actor has lot ability and this movie is just a trailer of his talent. Rest of the cast was totally fits in their respective characters.

Last but not least thing about the movie, that gives additional heights to such awesome inspirational movie. It’s the music and background score of movie. Hat-off to Salim-Sulaiman to produce such fantastic composition that gives true meaning to such beautiful story. “Ye housala kaise jhuke, Ye aarajoo kaise ruke” song was inspirational and spiritual at same time! Lyrics of this song express spirit and determination of Zeenat in very touching manner and voice of Shafaqat Amanat Ali Khan directly drills into heart. Especially sad version of this song is too poignant. I still remember when I was watching this song in the movie, I feel like a volcano of emotion, spirituality and motivation blast out in my heart. Other song is ‘Kesariya Balam! Padharo mhara des’, a rajasthani folk song, beautifully composed with flute and tabla. Flute of this song is very well used in the movie to express the soreness of widow in desert area. One more song that keep my attention is ‘Iman ka Asar’, it totally reflect the changes brought by friendship in both lady’s life. One interesting thing about this song is that you can enjoy the beautiful voices of two singing queens of current time in this song – Sunidhi Chauhan and Shreya Ghoshal. I must say that story of this movie reverberate in the music. Music of this movie will surely echoes in the ears of audience when they listen the name of this movie, even after several decades.

Few drawbacks in the movie; actually not drawbacks, just little things to care while watching this movie. This movie doesn’t have any item songs, comic dialogs and glamour quotient, so it may look boring and hard to understand initially, but once you watch it for few minutes, you will not only drive with the spirit of Zeenat, innocent of Meera and drollness of impressionist but these characteristics also become an attribute of your personality. This movie has ability to change the vision and life of anyone. If you really want to enjoy good cinema, give a chance to this movie. I recommend this movie a must watch for everyone!

Images : Letter of Zeenat to Meera when Zeenat returned after Meera refused to pardon her husband –

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5 thoughts on “Dor : A movie larger than life

  1. It’s really a larger than life movie and the post does complete justice with it. Very well written!
    The best thing about the movie is the ‘DOR’, the bond between two people..
    the attachment and love without any definition.
    The movie is a good watch and the post was very good read!
    Keep writing.

  2. Pingback: 16 Bollywood Films That Beautifully Portray The True Strength Of A Woman

  3. Just watched this movie a few days back with the special recommendation of a good friend. really a very nice movie, “Meera finds true way to live a life from her bonding (Dor) with Zeenat, a way of faith and self belief.” – this is the one liner story of movie, it reminded me about a movie I watched long time back “Filhal”.
    Thanks for writing a wonderful article on the same.

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