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The protagonist in Rajat Kapoor’s “Ankhon Dekhi” will remind you of some relative that you may have encountered at numerous family gatherings — the talkative, eccentric but loveable uncle who arouses mixed emotions.
The rest of the film’s characters, including Bauji’s lovelorn daughter; the babbling, hot-tempered mother; and his brooding brother are all sketched by Kapoor with such affection, that in spite of their quirks and idiosyncrasies, they are recognizable as people in our daily lives.
Bauji, played by Sanjay Mishra, is a travel-agency employee who has an epiphany. He decides to believe only what he experiences and not rely on what other people tell him to make crucial decisions. This causes much upheaval in the lower-middle-class family that he heads. Bauji quits his job, his brother’s family leaves the house, and he is accused of disrespecting religion.
Kapoor sketches an intimate portrait of a dysfunctional family, but there are times when Bauji’s obsession comes across as too abrupt. The reason for his epiphany is also not clear, but that doesn’t take away from the film.
This is thanks mainly to the phenomenal cast, including theatre veteran Seema Pahwa (as Bauji’s temperamental wife) — the standout performance in the film. Maya Sarao as Bauji’s daughter; Namit Das as the daughter’s boyfriend; and Kapoor as Bauji’s younger brother, all add to what is a terrific ensemble cast.