On Friday 1st December 2006, London saw the launch of Baabul a soul stirring, heart rendering social drama covering the topic of widow re-marriage brought to celluloid by one of most celebrated movie mavericks of Indian cinema B R Chopra and Ravi Chopra of B R Films. In attendance were esteemed stars including legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan – chosen Superstar of the Millennium on a BBC online poll – aspiring actor John Abraham – a UN ambassador for Asia against Drug Abuse and Crime – and critically acclaimed director Ravi Chopra of Baghban fame. India’s leading integrated entertainment company Adlabs Films will be releasing the film in the international market on Friday 8th December 2006. Also present was Mr. Suresh Rangarajan of Remit2India, the exclusive NRI Media Partners for Baabul.
The new soundtrack for Baabul featuring the title song which was not previously in the original soundtrack and has been sung by Amitabh Bachchan was unveiled at the press conference. Music and film aficionados were also treated to the title song’s special music video featuring Amitabh Bachchan which was also launched at the event.
At the press conference Amitabh Bachchan lauded the effort of Ravi Chopra for choosing such a bold subject for the film, which is socially relevant. Amitabh Bachchan commented that the “theme of Baabul is thought-provoking and progressive.”
Baabul features an acclaimed and formidable cast including Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Salman Khan, Rani Mukherjee and John Abraham performing pivotal characters, and is expected to be this year’s most thought provoking film. The film in essence is the story of a father who gave up all relationships to make one; it is the story of one man who overthrew traditions, berated conventions and questioned superstitions to bring happiness to his daughter in law.
The musical score for the film has been created by music maestro Aadesh Shrivastava, with lyrics penned by Sameer. Together they exceptionally blend melodramatic melodies and lyrics together, to produce a score which has wide appeal.
Even in contemporary times, widow re-marriage is frowned upon in many parts of the world resulting in widows enduring a sentence of shame. In India alone, there are over 33 million widows who come from all cross sections and socio-economic structures in India. Over many centuries, there has been evident gender discrimination amongst Indian communities – whereas a widower can remarry as many times as he likes, a widow cannot remarry irrespective of her age. In poorer parts of the world such as in parts of India, widows face economic depression, illness and in many cases death, but the plight that widows face are not limited to economic boundaries. Widows from affluent families such as for character Milli (Rani Mukherjee) face social stigma.
B R Chopra has been the architect of a golden era of the Indian film industry which created immortal classics such as Waqt, Naya Daur and Ek Hi Raasta. With a characteristic vision and great entrepreneurial spirit, he converted offbeat stories into the most magnificent films. In following B R Chopra’s quest to poignantly discuss pivotal social issues to a mass audience, son Ravi Chopra who made his directorial debut with the phenomenally successful film Baghban in a similar vein continues to captivate cineastes with provocative narratives.
Says Sunir Kheterpal, COO, Filmed Entertainment – Adlabs Films, “We are delighted to be associated with the release of Baabul in the overseas market. Continuing its commitment to bring in high quality Bollywood content for the global audiences, we are proud to culminate our 2006 line up with a film like Baabul which not only epitomises Indian values but also represents the changing face of Indian cinema.”
Says Sanjay Bhutiani, Business Head BR Films “Baabul is our 50th year presentation and over the years BR Films has successfully made social and emotional family dramas on the big screen. While Bagbhban was a family film, Baabul deals with a social issue. Today Indian Cinema is going global and we are expecting this film too to touch the emotional chords of Indian movie lovers across the globe. We are happy to be working with Adlabs who have taken the initiative to ensure Baabul has a far-reaching audience.”