indian cinema heritage foundation

Gharwali Baharwali (1998)

  • LanguageHindi
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Anil Kapoor is a travel agent with all the sundry trapping of a happy home. That a travel agent should have such an opulent house, makes you wonder about the kind of salary he earns. However it is conveyed to the viewer that the wealth is khandani. Anyway, a film is after all the stuff dreams are made of, right? Also living in this opulent house with Anil are Raveena as his wife and Kader Khan as his father. But there is a flaw in the family's picture postcard happiness. Raveena cannot conceive. And Kader wants Anil to keep marrying till one of his wives bears a child. He tries all tricks in the book to achieve this end. 
To add to the convoluted plot, add a trip abroad and you have a full-length feature film. Anil goes on a business trip to Nepal with his friend Satish Kaushik and finds many people including Rambha, chasing a lamb. Anil manages to catch the animal and hands it over to Rambha, who to his surprise, bursts into tears. It appears that catching the lamb is the Nepali way of getting the best husband. Now Anil will have to marry Rambha. But he is already a married man. At the same time local law dictates that he will be killed if he refuses to marry Rambha. The dice is indeed loaded against him. Satish Kaushik saves Anil and the film from a premature end, by tricking him into marriage. so, Anil married one time too many, decides to flee the scene. But he is soon confronted with another offshoot of the law-if the spouse runs away, the wife has to lead the dismal life of a widow. 
So our hero Anil is left with no choice but to own up and bring Rambha back with him. In the meantime he does exercise his marital rights and manages to get her pregnant. Things are complicated back home, when Kader does a volte-face and commands that Anil is not to marry again. So Rambha has to enter the household as, what else, but a poor maid with a kid. Bigamy seems to be the in thing. 
But Anil's dreams go burst as he two times indiscreetly, that too under the same roof Raveena smells a rat and plans to get Rambha married off. 
But essentially the film is meant to be a gag a minute. An indication of the flippancy is that the film does not end in tragedy with one of the wives conveniently bumped off. "It has always been my fantasy to live with two wives", says Anil. Here, he gets to keep his cake and eat it too.