I watched it very recently on YouTube. It is a 2006 drama by Nagesh Kukunoor – a tale of two ladies, far away from each other, unknown to each other’s existence but yet connected by a tragedy. A must watch with a powerful story and amazing acting, especially by Ayesha Takia.
Dor is the story of two ladies – one, Meera (Ayesha Takia) is wife of the deceased and another, Zeenat (Gul Panag) is wife of the convict. While one is trying to cope with the loss of her husband, another is on a mission to do everything possible under the sun to save her husband from execution under the Saudi law. While the government is in process of exploring all the diplomatic options, there is a ray of hope for Zeenat. However, that hope can’t materialize without the help from Meera – wife of the very man, for the murder of which, her husband is convicted. While Zeenat has an agony of her own, Meera is fighting another battle in rural Rajasthan where the life of a widow is pretty much the same as dead and only her body has some material value. For someone who loves dancing and music, giving up all forms of entertainment, colorful clothes and any kind of interaction with the outside world is pretty much like a life sentence. As Zeenat tries to befriend her to convince her for help she discovers Meera’s struggles and motivates her to break the shackles and claim what’s rightfully hers.
This is perhaps Ayesha Takia’s best and the only serious performance in her career after Socha Na Tha. Her portrayal of a very young widow, who isn’t able to understand the restrictions but somehow makes peace with it, is brilliant. Gul Panag is good overall but lacked impact in intense scenes where Ayesha Takia was very comfortable. Girish Karnad, playing Ayesha’s father in law who is far more worried about his “haveli” and so-called reputation than anything else in the world is impressive. He is one of the few actors who are equally effective in both, positive and negative, characters. Shreyas Talpade, playing a Rajasthani local who helps Gul Panag reach Ayesha Takia, is good with his dialogues, comic timing and Rajasthani accent. Overall, the movie was well supported in terms of acting.
Nagesh Kukunoor was impressive. His tendency to spend time on the background of Meera’s marriage (relationship with her husband in a conservative society) and portrayal of her aspirations gave a much deeper understanding of the character. Unfortunately, he didn’t work that deep on Zeenat’s character. The movie is a little baffling in the beginning and few times goes off track. The climax was great and justified the length.
Overall, the movie is a great watch, especially for a predictable but still a very well executed story.