Planet Bollywood
My Brother Nikhil
Producer: Four Front Films production
Director: Onir
Starring: Sanjay Suri, Juhi Chawla, Lilette Dubey, Victor Banerjee, Peeya Rai Choudhury, Purab Kohli, etc
Music: Vivek Phillip, Josh
Lyrics: Amitabh Verma
Genre: Emotional
Recommended Audience: Parental Guidance
Film Released on: 25 March 2005
Reviewed by: Shruti Bhasin  - Rating: 8.5 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 410 viewers)
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Sometimes, a film topic is so taboo you can’t help but to shy away from it because its different. In 2004, we had very few films that dared to be different, and one of them was Phir Milenge. The main topic dealt into the life of one woman who fought to get her job back when she was fired for having HIV/AIDS.

My Brother Nikhil goes deeper into this topic, but more so as to give viewers the chance to examine the perfect life of the main character, along with his downfall and death.

The movie itself is seen through the eyes of Anamika aka Anu (Juhi Chawla). We are taken into the life of her brother Nikhil. He is handsome, athletic, popular, an all-around nice guy with the support of many peers, friends and family. He is a swimming champ thanks to his father/coach (played by Victor Banerjee). All is well in his life until one day he gets arrested. But why? You’ll have to watch and see. When we discover that Nikhil has been tested for HIV positive, the real colours of all his supporters are seen. His friends, peers, and even his parents abandon him. Anu stays by him as does his friend/lover Nigel (played superbly by Purab Kohli).

The film is really a looking glass where we see all real characters and emotions. Stars can fall from the sky and shatter on the ground, as does Nikhil, who is outcasted and shunned for having HIV/AIDS. The movie is a little sad, because the main character does not survive (its quite obvious), but it works because the climax and plot is not morbid. On the contrary, it educates, tugs the heart strings, and make you sit up and notice the new trend of this topic.

As for performances, all are first rate. Sanjay Suri is the surprise package, by giving even veteran stars a run for their money. Juhi Chawla is turning into one of those perfectionnist artists (perhaps like Aamir), where the quality is most important and not just the commercial value of the film. She keeps the movie together and does not overshadow the character of Anu with her image. The film is not filled with A-class stars, but overall, they will be remembered after the movie’s release. Lilette Dubey as Nikhil’s mother is controlled and does not go over the top. Victor Banerjee is good. The supporting cast of friends do what they need to.

Technically the film is polished. Director Onir does a good job to get his message across (he is also credited with the story and screenplay). Music is fresh however, the movie would’ve worked without a score too. Although its important to mention that “Le Chale” (particularly the Shaan version) is among the top songs of the year, and make this album worth having just for this one song.

Overall, one of the best films of 2005 so far, don’t miss it!

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