By Subhash K. Jha
It was that great poet-thinker Harindranath Chattopadhyay who said: “It’s very simple to be difficult, but very difficult to be simple.” By that logic, debutant director Gitanjali Sinha has pulled off a reasonably admirable feat in this simple staright-from-the-heart film about the relationship between a neglected boy Avinash (Raj Tandon) and his lonely grandfather.
The film vaguely echoes L.V. Prasad’s 1974 tearjerker “Bidaai”, though not in any overt way.
That the grandfather who embraces the boy’s loneliness and insecurities is played by Raghuvir Yadav is a happy coincidence, and one that fills up the rather austere spaces in the film’s narrative.
The small-town ambience in Bihar, the old sprawling houses with acres of greenery stretching out from here to eternity, furnish the film with a burnished exterior.
As for the interiors, don’t look too deep. Sinha seems content skimming the surface of the emotions gliding along gently as the boy finds a new beginning in his grandfather’s company.
Dramatic conflicts are created through some villainous elements creeping in with embarrassing inopportunity into the placid ambience. The build-up towards a kite-flying contest is negotiated with disarming naivette.
“Yeh Khula Aasmaan” is an old-fashioned simple and transparent tale told with a straightforwardness that challenges current filmmaking trends of irrelevant complexities.
The narration is kept simple and largely formulistic. A romance between the gawky hero and the-girl-next-door (Anya Anand) is teased into the tale. The real hero of the film, besides the small-town ambience, is Raghuvir. He is in his elements, even pitching in with a folk song somewhere down the line while the youngsters at the helm serve their purpose.
Yashpal Sharma as Avinash’s sophisticated tycoon-father is completely miscast.
“Yeh Khula Aasmaan” is a well-intended heartwarming film. More mellow than melodrama, it revels in postures of pristine idyllism associated with non-metropolitan life.
There are no heart-stopping moments of high and low. The drama, when it ensues, is brought on with disarming simplicity. That the heart is in the right place is undeniable.