- 1 hr 59 min
Pestonjee is a 1988 Indian drama film directed by Vijaya Mehta, based on the play titled "Sakharam Binder" by playwright Vijay Tendulkar. The film stars Shabana Azmi, Cyprus Dastoor and Dady Dustoor in lead roles. The film takes place in pre-independence India, in a Parsi community of Bombay. Pestonjee (Cyrus Dastoor) is a widowed Parsi man who works as an art restorer. He lives with his young daughter and elderly mother, and his life revolves around work and family. His friend Adi (Dady Dustoor) is his confidante and companion, with whom he shares his joys and sorrows.
One day, Pestonjee meets a charming young woman named Jeroo (Shabana Azmi) who is looking for a job. Pestonjee hires her as a housekeeper, and she quickly wins over the hearts of the family members with her wit and humor. However, her presence in the house soon begins to stir up some hidden desires within Pestonjee.
Pestonjee falls hopelessly in love with Jeroo, and proposes to her. Despite his sincere efforts, Jeroo does not reciprocate his feelings and ultimately marries another man. This leaves Pestonjee heartbroken and devastated. Adi tries to console him, but he remains inconsolable, haunted by his unrequited love.
Meanwhile, a scandalous incident involving a promiscuous young woman in the Parsi community shakes up the conservative society. Pestonjee becomes a target of social ostracism and is boycotted by his own community. He begins to feel isolated and abandoned, unable to find solace in his work, family or friends. This leads to a tragic climax that leaves a lasting impact on the viewers.
The film is a poignant reflection on themes such as love, desire, sexism, hypocrisy, societal norms, and the human condition. It depicts the complex web of relationships between the characters and their struggles to find a meaningful existence in a world that is ridden with conflicts and contradictions. The film stands out for its realistic portrayal of the Parsi community and its traditions, and the stellar performances by the lead actors.
Shabana Azmi delivers a remarkable performance as Jeroo, capturing the nuances of her character with finesse. The chemistry between her and Cyrus Dastoor is palpable, and the film shines in its tender moments of romance and intimacy. Cyrus Dastoor gives a nuanced performance as Pestonjee, depicting his character's inner turmoil and emotional depth with aplomb. Dady Dustoor shines in his role as Adi, providing the much-needed comic relief amidst the intense drama.
The film also boasts of a memorable soundtrack by Vanraj Bhatia, featuring songs such as "Koi Jaye To Le Aaye" and "Jete Jete Pathe Holo Deri". The music adds to the emotional depth of the film and complements the visual storytelling.
Overall, Pestonjee is a thought-provoking film that explores the complexities of human relationships and the impact of societal norms on individuals. It is a must-watch for fans of Indian cinema and those who appreciate meaningful storytelling.
Pestonjee is a 1987 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 59 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.3.