Cast: Tannishtha Chatterjee, Sonal Sehgal, Anushka Sen, and others
Director: Rahat Kazmi
Streaming On: Voot
Our Rating : 4 Stars out of 5.
Based on Ismat Chugtai’s short story, Rahat Kazmi’s LIHAAF stars Tannishtha Chatterjee, Sonal Sehgal, and Anushka Sen. The movie revolves around a free-spirited woman Ismath, who wrote a book that was considered to be against social norms back in the 40s. Back then, while women were expected to stay quiet and take care of the family and husband, she always considered herself to be different from others. Her novel was her way of expressing her thoughts and experiences.
The movie shows how Ismath mentions in her book about how Begum Jaan, after not receiving any form of affection from her husband, Nawab, starts feeling lonely and falls ill. And gains her original self back and starts laughing again when she finally finds a companion in Rabbo.
Another thing that the movie portrays well is Ismath’s strength, where even after being called for trial in court due to her book being considered obscene by society, she doesn’t get scared at all and does not fear going to jail because she only wants to support the truth and does not believe in keeping mum.
All the scenes in the movie are accompanied by soft music and minimalistic undertones. The color scheme is also chosen wisely in accordance to the scenes and usually kept dark during the initial half when the focus is on the lonely and depressed Begum Jaan, and lighter and more romantic during the scenes of Begum Jaan and Rajjo together.
The actors have given absolute justice to their roles. Tannishtha Chatterjee’s look itself depicts her as a strong-headed woman. And Sonal Sehgal has very well portrayed the character shift of a woman from being depressed to happy and lustful. Anushka Sen’s scared and petrified looks have left an impact on the audience and make us feel sorry for the young child facing such a situation.
All in all, the movie gradually gains the attention of the audience and keeps them hooked to the screen in order to know what turn of events will take place now due to its unpredictable nature. It has also shown the audience love in its true form which is without any barrier of gender. The only thing that has left the audience confused is whether Begum Jaan was just a lonely person craving for some love, or a lustful predator who tried to ruin the childhood of a young girl.