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  Bollywood Watch
By Shephali J. Rele

Bollywood | Bollywood Preview

In case you missed it, worth a look:
After seeing Revathy's critically acclaimed directorial debut "Mitr - My Friend" (2002), I eagerly awaited her next venture. My expectations were fulfilled and finally I saw a new film worth writing about in this column. "Phir Milenge" by Revathy is a well-acted, sensitive Bollywood movie with an underlying social message. The story's serious subject matter may have turned some away but in case you missed it, this film is definitely worth a look.

"Phir Milenge" (2004): Directed by Revathy. Starring Shilpa Shetty, Salman Khan and Abhishek Bachchan.

The movie tells the story of Tamanna Sahani (Shilpa Shetty), a creative and talented employee working in an advertising agency. Tamanna is optimistic and responsible. She lives with her younger sister, the only living member of her family. Tamanna believes strongly in her career, which is a central part of her life. At a school reunion Tamanna meets Rohit (Salman Khan) the guitar playing classmate she once had a crush on. In this nostalgic setting, the two are intimately drawn to each other.

Later on circumstances cause Tamanna to question Rohit but he is unreachable. The situation quickly turns serious after she learns she has the HIV virus. She is fired from her job by her boss and mentor, and decides to fight this injustice. Tarun (Abhishek Bachchan) is the suave, upcoming lawyer who brings hope and conviction to her fight. The film highlights her struggle to regain her rights as she is discriminated because of her disease.

The actors' stellar performances in this film can only be attributed to Revathy's directorial power. Shipa Shetty delivers a touching, career-defining performance one may not have thought possible. Her character is played with a quiet yet strong grace. Her outstanding interpretation of the character truly carries the film. After "Yuva," Abhishek Bachchan turns in another praise-worthy portrayal as the young lawyer who grows to be Tamanna's friend. In an understated performance, Salman Khan tries his best in this demanding role. All of the supporting players from Tamanna's sister, her boss, the opposing attorney, to Tarun's mentor have also rendered first-rate performances.

Revathy has succeeded in giving Hindi cinema a deeply satisfying film that also sheds light on HIV and AIDS awareness without being judgmental or melodramatic. At its heart, "Phir Milenge" is a film about relationships between loved ones, mentors, teachers and friends. The pace may seem slow at times but the movie has several moments that leave a lasting impression. Overall, "Phir Milenge" is a well-written, unique drama with fantastic performances.

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