Ratan International's TERA MERA SAATH RAHEN, scripted-directed by Mahesh Manjrekar, tackles a sensitive issue, but lacks the sensitivity imperative in a theme like this!
Raj (Ajay Devgan) lives with his 14-year-old brother Rahul (Dushyant), who is a victim of Cerebral Palsy. Rahul totally depends on Raj not only because Raj understands all his needs and desires, but also his emotions.
Raj's life takes a dramatic turn when Mr. Khanna (Prem Chopra) asks him to meet his niece, Madhuri (Sonali Bendre). Raj and Madhuri develop a liking for each other. Raj also responds because Rahul takes a fancy for her.
Gradually, Madhuri makes Raj aware that Rahul needs to be educated and made wiser, rather than stagnate at home. Initially, Raj refuses to give a ear to her suggestion, but on Madhuri's perseverance, he is convinced that admitting Rahul to one such institution should help.
But all hell breaks loose when the news is broken to Rahul. He does not want to see reason. Despite his refusal, Raj takes Rahul to the institute. Once separated, a sea of turmoil engulfs Raj.
Be it VAASTAV or ASTITVA, Mahesh Manjrekar has always tackled a theme that reflects the true picture of the social order. His intentions of tackling a sensitive theme in TERA MERA SAATH RAHEN needs to be lauded, but the effort lacks the punch associated with his earlier films.
TERA MERA SAATH RAHEN falters in the most important aspect ? scripting. In an effort to convey a message within commercial parameters, Manjrekar deviates from the main plot, thus concentrating on romance and comedy in the process. As a result, what could've been a thought-provoking film on a novel theme turns out to be a bland commercial fare.
There are hardly any sequences that have a hammer-like impact, which have proved to be the hallmark of Manjrekar's previous attempts. Even otherwise, the narrative is so sluggish at times that the viewer starts getting fidgety instantly.
TERA MERA SAATH RAHEN also suffers in another important department ? music (Anand Raaj Anand). The narrative is replete with monotonous situations and oft-repeated tunes. Actually, the songs act as speed breakers since their placement is imperfect.
Cinematography (Vijay Arora) is alright. Dialogues (Deepak Kulkarni) are natural. Editing (V.N. Mayekar) is loose; the film needs to be trimmed by at least 20-25 minutes for a better impact.
One definitely expects Ajay Devgan to come up with a superlative performance, since Manjrekar is known for extracting great performances. But Ajay is his usual self. However, Ajay needs to take special care of his appearance on the big screen, for he looks pale in several sequences.
Both Sonali Bendre and Namrata Shirodkar go through their roles without much effort. Master Dushyant Wagh impresses. Reema Lagoo irritates with her English accent. Shivaji Satam does quite well. Prem Chopra is passable.
On the whole, TERA MERA SAATH RAHEN is weak in all respects and will face a bumpy ride at the box-office. Its dull opening will also prove a deterrent.