Pan Pictures' NIDAAN tells the story of a vivacious young teenager hailing from an upper middle class Maharashtrian family, who is the apple of her parents' eyes. The family's happiness is shattered when the girl falls ill and the doctors diagnose AIDS, which she had contracted during a blood transfusion in her childhood days. The girl's parents are traumatised and consult every possible doctor to find a remedy for the malaise, knowing that death is inevitable for their daughter. Her boyfriend decides to stand by her and even gets married to her, to see her happy in the last few moments. How the family battles with the tragedy that overcomes them forms the crux of the film.
The first few reels of the film are melodramatic and are spent in establishing the relationship between the daughter and her parents and how they love her beyond everything. It is only when she falls seriously ill that the story gathers momentum. The drama becomes intensely emotional, as the father tries hard to cope up with the fact that the disease is terminal.
The emotional moments towards the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half manage to touch the core of the heart. Towards the end, however, the film starts dragging when the emotional bit is stretched a bit too far. Also, the marriage in the last few reels, besides the father's efforts to get Sanjay Dutt to visit his daughter in hospital, sounds a bit too exaggerated.
Director Mahesh Manjrekar has intelligently managed to clarify the myths and truth about how the AIDS virus attacks the defence mechanism in the body, without making it obvious in the story. Despite the fact that the film is not out-and-out commercial, it manages to hold the viewer's attention to a great extent. Music is okay, particularly the song 'Hum Aur Tum', which falls in the second half of the film.
Performance-wise, Nisha Bains is loud in the initial stages, but as the story progresses, she manages to score in the emotional moments. She has successfully managed to exude the liveliness and spontaneity of the character. Sunil Barve, as the boyfriend who stands by her, is equally convincing.
The one who gives a remarkable performance is Shivaji Satam. Throughout the film, Satam has lived upto the image of an adoring father, who switches over from happy moments to sad moments, to the ones when he is utterly desperate. The same applies to Reema Lagoo, who effortlessly goes about playing the role of the concerned mother in the film.
Mohan Joshi, in the role of a doctor, makes a very brief appearance. Dilip Prabhavalkar and Shama Deshpande have very little to do. Shagufta Ali (in the role of the doctor's wife) impresses in the brief appearance she makes. The star appearance of Sanjay Dutt towards the end adds the element of glamour to the film.
On the whole, NIDAAN stands a fair chance for fulfilling the purpose for which it was made -- to create an awareness of AIDS. The tax-free status will help the film to an extent.
This is a flop movie.