indian cinema heritage foundation

Biwi No.1 (1999)

  • LanguageHindi
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VashuBhagnani's film Biwi no 1 is not simply about numbers. The destinction attributted to the term number one is the pivot of the story. A desire to succeed and to do so with dignity is what makes Biwi no 1 an exemplary story of a woman who fights for her family and the values that hold them together and wins against the odds. Based on the tamil remake of a Kamalahasan hit film VashuBhagnani enlarges on the script with a creative spontaneity that has the distinctive feel of a vintage Bhagnani film. The film operates on three levels of subplots woven into a central plot which is the story of Karisma and Salman. All other subplots are parallel stories that feed on the main plot and draw sustenance from it. Biwi no 1 is the story of a wellknitindian family complete with an ideal father and husband, a loving wife and mother, and two cute children. An utopian situation that shows how strong the family unit is in the social fabric. KarismaKapoor is the ideal wife who has silently supported her husband with love and determination in his efforts to succeed in life. She has watched him struggle to carve his own niche in life and rejoiced in his success. She has lived her life with content hidden in the shadow of her husband.
Heading an ambitious agency Salaman is a man on the move. Having seen poverty from close quarters, he is keen to reach the pinnacle in his career in a short time. But Salman is also the quintessential family man who enjoys and cherishes the time he spends with his family and friends who always takeprecendence over his work. But his idyllic existence shows the first cracks of impermanence when he meets SushmitaSen, an ambitious model who is of a similar mindset as him. Sushmita has a clarity of purpose that is fascinating to watch. She has a one point agenda in life-to marry a rich man who has all the trappings of wealth to enable her to enjoy a plush life. Her meeting Salman is the turning point in the story and his the start of a liaison that will jeopardise the family life of Karisma and Salaman.  Salaman and Sushmita are drawn to each other like moths to a flame and true to the prototype of an errant husband, Salman fails to mention to Sushmitatht he is a married man. The fatal attraction between the two leads to several lapses on Salman's part and as a consequence the worst kept secret is made public. Anil Kapoor is Salman best friend and along with wife Tabu, try hard to convince Salman of the errors he is wilfully committing, but their please fall on deaf ears. It is now left to Karisma to assume the mantle of responsibility. Hurt and miserable her pleas and ultimatum go unheeded until egged on by Anil Kapoor she decides to fight Sushmita on her own turf. True to the traditions of a David Dhawan film, Karisma's subsequent actions are the stuff that will definitely go down in the annals of celluloid history. But will see succeed in her attempts to wean Salman away from Sushmita? Will Salman succumb to familial pressure? And will Sushmita give up her chance of a life that is better than the one she as known? If you were expecting the story in these pages then you will be disappointed. David Dhawan is known for his unconventional story telling and the plot has so many twists that it is better left to viewing on the big screen. It is perhaps the first time that such a multi starrer project has come about in recenttimes and to take a peek at the powerhouse performance that is tribute to good cinema watch out for Biwi no 1.
 

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