You can rest assure that Manjrekar has not lost his touch for unique-ness, sensitivity, or making a good film. Manjrekar has accomplished something with Tera Mera Saath Rahen, he has continued his trend, and whether or not this film is as good as his previous ones, an unfair comparison that we all make, is a pointless proposition. The film is good enough. This Diwali a variety of films release, and in an abstract view, they all fall in different genres. TMSR is a sensitive drama interspersed with the characteristics of a mans life, much unlike the other releases, Yeh Zindagi Ka Safar, Deewaanapan and the odd thriller
If you ponder the question that Manjrekar has left with us, youll be sure to enjoy the film that he has offered us. Being handicapped is a dependency or dependency itself is a handicap? You may already figure out the irony in this question, that irony is presented in Tera Mera Saath Rahen.
Haathon Ki Lakeeron, the first of the four versions of the title song opens up the drama and off the bat youre left with something that will linger in your mind through the movie. Raj Dixit (Ajay Devgan) is a respectable average man who lives with his younger brother Rahul (Master Dushyant Eagh). Youre quickly faced with the obstacle in Rahuls life, however, as we would come to believe, it is not Rahuls handicap, Cerebral Palsy, but his imperative need for Raj. His dependency is like a flower without sunlight, without it he would simply whither away. When the normal youngsters activities are for Rahul impossible without Raj, we come to see that their bond is improbably one of the closest in human kind. One can imagine that Raj is quite the solemn character with as humane a persona as anyone would think. That being quite obvious, Mr. Khanna (Prem Chopra) takes advantage of his quiescent personality and asks him to marry his niece, Madhuri (Sonali Bendre). It doesnt take long before Raj accepts the offer and develops a relationship with Madhuri. However amidst Pehli Nazar and Tadapati Hai, Tarsati Hai, two romantically well-pictured numbers, a dilemma is quite evident. Raj explains to Madhuri that their relationship has little room for growth, as lovers anyways. After all if the sun started shining other places what would happen to the plants? Raj tries to present this to a reluctant Madhuri who later offers to send Rahul off to a school where his needs and dependency could be well suited. Naturally, when people share the bonds that these two do, that offer alone is a ludicrous thought. However with thought he decides he would try it out. We then come to see who is actually the dependent one here, and who is the handicap. We are already aware that theres more to the story, that angle is Suman (Namrata Shirodkar). Suman and her parents are neighbors to Raj, somewhat of surrogate parents to Raj at times. Suman is the fourth angle of the quadrangle, and aside from Rahul, is the most interesting.
For those accusing Manjrekar of too much commercialism in the film, the question is, how can there not be? This is a simple plot, but further more, much, much realistic than the romantic films we see day in day out. If a Karan Arjun can become a blockbuster, there is no reason why TMSR shouldnt. Manjrekar may have thrown in the song and dance interludes, but withholding the mediocre tunes, the areas that matter are definite up to par and at points applaud worthy. The script has been thought out enough to help the film along its way without having the audience dwell too much on Rahuls handicap or the romance between Madhuri and Raj. Sumans comedic angles are not overdone at times and while not so much rib tickling, they dont ruin the film. Importantly enough, the ending of the film contributes to the feel good film. Unlike his past films, you want a positive ending to the film; I dont see it happening any other way.
The other aspects of the film, like Vijay Aroras cinematography are just there for solely entertainment purposes. The songs come and go; much like they do in your head, and the cinematography simply fits the bill without going to extremes. The only meaningful track, the title one, is the only one you will remember after the film is done, though it would be quite safe to say that Manjrekars soundtracks are never hot and one can salvage this one for what it is worth. The setting of the film is what stood out more than anything else and it is probably that that you will remember after the film is over. The pace of the film is normal. Saying that the film could be trimmed would be unfair since many of the Bollywood films releasing lately could be trimmed as well (Its the case of the opposite, when a film is perfect, its perfect).
For viewing purposes this Diwali, Tera Mera Saath Rahen is the pick of the lot. With four releases of somewhat different genres this humane drama has all it takes to make you laugh, cry, and come out feeling happy with a moral and learning experience involved. In reality, that is all we want.