Mumbai, 17 Mar 2017 18:00 IST
The story jumps from one coincidence to another and the makers don’t think it important to even attempt to justify these jumps.
Actor Shahid Kapoor’s wife and new mother Mira Rajput recently made a seemingly offensive remark (unintentionally, of course) that she wouldn’t be a working mother as she doesn’t think her child is a puppy. The comment, probably made without thought, opened up a debate about working mothers, the role privilege and, eventually, matters of personal choice. The recently released Dhyanimani subtly preached about the pressures of being a mother and gave it a psychological twist. Now, Garbh steps into a similar space with a not-so-subtle title. Sadly, neither of these films adds any value to the debate about a woman’s choices.
Kavita (Siya Patil) and Rahul (Sushant Shelar) meet in college and quickly fall in love. Though they barely look like college students, the makers would have us believe they are around 18 years old. Kavita, an orphan, is mistreated by her alcoholic guardian uncle (Anant Jog). When Rahul notices this, he decides to marry her (he doesn’t even ask what she would like to do to improve the situation). And, just like that, it is their first wedding anniversary and Kavita is pregnant.
Rahul works for Sanjay Kulkarni, a wealthy businessman. No success is enough for Sanjay’s mother (Nishigandha Wad), who is always taunting Sanjay and his wife Rekha for having no children even after 10 years of marriage. She even requests Sanjay to marry another woman, indirectly suggesting that Rekha is to blame for no palna (cradle) rocking in the bungalow.
When Rahul meets with an accident, Kavita lands up the Kulkarnis’ to seek monetary help to save his life. Sensing an opportunity from her position of power, a desperate Rekha compels Kavita to be a surrogate mother. A helpless Kavita agrees. One is quickly reminded of Salman Khan, Rani Mukerji and Preity Zinta’s 2001 film Chori Chori Chupke Chupke. However, the ridiculous pace at which Garbh progresses, the liberties taken, and the convenient plot twists are yawn-inducing, to say the least. Ramesh Tiwari’s story is unoriginal and bland. The camerawork is also awful as many scenes are unintentionally blurry.
The story jumps from one coincidence to another and the makers don’t think it important to even attempt to justify these jumps. The good women wear muted sarees while the vamps opt for the big-bordered, shiny ones. Arun Kulkarni’s dialogues remind you of those mindless saas-bahu soaps on Indian television. The loud costumes and make-up and wooden acting all seem to be props to make up for the lack of original content.
While Patil turns in a fine performance as a conflicted mother, Shelar wears the same expression throughout — be it on his wedding, in his new job, on his transfer, or anything at all. A flat dialogue delivery also makes him unappealing in the lead role. Wad’s dialogues are particularly cringe-worthy as she berates ideas of adoption and choice and delivers monologues on the importance of a male child, especially if you are wealthy. The other cast members are restricted by the limited scope of a shoddy script.
Garbh is a two-and-a-half-hour regressive monologue about motherhood, sacrifice, kindness and karma which can be safely aborted.
Reviewed by Blessy Chettiar