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Vijeta

Govind Nihalani

Shashi Kapoor had the courage and conviction to produce a series of offbeat films in the 1980s — these were not always successful, but were a distinct cut above the mainstream films of the time, and more accessible than the art-house cinema prevalent then. Vijeta is a well-shot and idealistic film that follows the evolution of a young man (Kunal Kapoor) from a college dropout to a fighter pilot. Beautifully filmed aerial sequences and on-location filming at the NDA and the Air Force Academy add flavour to a simple story narrated and performed with dignity. Amrish Puri turns in a memorable performance as a flying instructor. Shashi Kapoor, Rekha and Supriya Pathak’s restrained performances round off a film that is suffused with aesthetic sensibility and a sense of hope. A film that illustrates what mainstream Hindi cinema could have been in the hands of imaginative makers.

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