After many overhyped movies, an underhyped and unpromoted Bollywood movie came in the form of Atithi, Tum Kab Jaoge (2010), got seen without any expectation in the mind of the viewer and conquered his heart. After Lage Raho Munnabhai (2006), there had not come any good, clean, sensible and inspiring comedy. Atithi, Tum Kab Jaoge (O guest, when will you leave ?) filled the vacuum. The great Indian tradition of Atithi Devo Bhavah (Guest is just like God) has lost its momentum due to the urban individualistic culture. But roots are, after all, roots. A man can forget his roots but cannot get rid of them, especially when they are as noble as considering the guest no less respectable than the Almighty. Indian mythology has considered Aatithya (being the host) as one integral part of the Grihastha Dharma (duties of the householder). This dharma is accompanied by love, emotion and warmth of relationships. Practical life constraints cannot abolish these subtle, untold things of human psyche that can only be felt within.Unlike 3 Idiots (2009) whose intellectual maker dared to consider his audience as idiots, ATKJ strikes an emotional chord with the audience. It is a comedy, hence cannot be altogether real but it’s believable and digestible (at least the audience starts desiring it to be real while watching and emotionally associating with it). The laughters generated are genuine and not imposed. Throughout the movie, even if you are not laughing, you are getting a light, comforting feel.A guest is not welcome in today’s running, tight life when every moment you are thinking that the time is catching up with you and you cannot afford the luxury to entertain any guest. Further, a guest himself is also expected to be prudent enough not to bother you for more than one or two days. But what to do when an unexpected (and unwanted) guest bumps upon your household and your life ? ATKJ tries to find an answer through a seeming garden variety working couple who is not so ordinary from within as it respects the elders, adjusts with the guest and gets ready to forgo benefits and real life relationships for the sake of his honour. The guest though imposes himself upon the husband-wife-kid family apparently like a free-loader, is thoroughly human and sentimental. The more you know him, the more your resentment for him vapours out into the air filled with love and warmth. You want him to leave you but when the time arrives for his actual departure, your eyes refuse to control the tears.I tried hard to find flaws in this movie but I couldn’t. The script-writer as well as the director has done a splendid job. Right from the beginning scene (consisting of cartoons) to the ending scene when you come across a twist in the tale, the movie is thoroughly gripping and does not get loose even for a single minute. The viewer is simply lost in the flow of the movie, empathising with the characters. In addition to entertaining you, the movie reminds you of your ages old traditions, values and virtues. It is not unnecessarily lengthy too. The compact storytelling maintains the momentum and impact of the movie and does not allow you to yawn or look at your watch.The music is good and well integrated with the narration. The editing and the cinematography departments have done their jobs well. As far as the performances are concerned, Paresh Rawal has perhaps got less footage than the hero-heroine duo of Ajay and Konkona but he is the heart and soul of the movie and he carries it alone on his shoulders. A class act by a class actor, living upto his reputation and expectations of his admirers. Talented actors – Ajay Devgan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Akhilendra Mishra, Mukesh Tiwari and Satish Kaushik are perfect. Child artist Ayush also has done well.If you believe in Indian traditional values and household life ideals or feel the importance of relationships or even if you don’t but are aspiring for a neat and clean, good entertainment; please don’t miss it. It is a very delicious sweet served to you without fancy packaging and heavy marketing, fully capable of satisfying your entertainment hunger. The people who still miss Hrishikesh Mukherjee-Basu Chatterjee-Satyen Bose era, are most welcome to watch Atithi, Tum Kab Jaoge.
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