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Namkeen is a touching and heart-warming drama film from 1982 that explores the lives of four women who come together to live in a small village in Northern India. Directed by Gulzar, the film stars Sanjeev Kumar, Sharmila Tagore, Shabana Azmi, and Waheeda Rehman.

The movie follows the story of a family who lives in a small village. There are four women living in the household - two sisters, one of whom is a widow with a daughter, and their mother. They live in a small house and financially rely on the income earned by the elder sister from a flour mill. Life in the village is simple and restricted with immediate family being the only source of support and socialization. The sisters' life takes a turn when a photographer from the city comes into town and rents a room in their house. Initially, the villagers are hesitant about the outsiders but gradually when they warm up to each other, it leads to an emotional journey that affects everyone in the household.

The film's plot is set during the monsoon season, which sets the tone for the mood and emotions of the characters. The rains bring joy and vitality as much as it brings despair and misery. It reveals the harshness of village life, where the lines between the good and the bad are blurred, and the people must accept life as it comes.

Namkeen wonderfully highlights the societal constraints imposed on women in conservative setups, representing a unique perspective on female bonding and the power it presents. The four women create a bond with each other that transcends generations and social limitations, and in doing so, offer solace, support, and kindness to one another.

As the story progresses, the photographer becomes a silent and compassionate observer of the family's dynamics, and he is moved by their struggles, traumas, and the resilience of the women. The character, played brilliantly by the legendary actor Sanjeev Kumar, is a breath of fresh air in the life of the sisters and brings a sense of hope and optimism on their chances of living a better life.

The music in the film is composed by R.D Burman, with lyrics by Gulzar. The music is irresistibly melodious, engaging, and perfectly captures the rustic feelings and emotions of the rural setting.

Namkeen is a triumphant film, with outstanding performances from each of the actors, notably Shabana Azmi, who delivers an incredible performance. Azmi plays the role of a young girl who has seen enough of the patriarchal world and finds solace in her newly formed relationships. She is filled with wit, humor, and intelligence which adds charm and character to the film.

The direction is impeccable, with Gulzar handling the complex theme of the film with subtlety and grace. Gulzar's screenplay brilliantly mirrors the simplicity, hardships, and emotional landscape of the Indian rural milieu, which is seamlessly weaved into the story. The cinematography by M.Ghibran captures the essence of the rustic visuals and landscapes, and its beauty adds layers to the story.

To conclude, Namkeen is a tender and poignant masterpiece that encapsulates the charm and struggles of the rural Indian milieu. It tells a heartfelt story of four women who struggle to find a sense of belonging and recognition in a world dominated by men. It is a film that manages to be both a commentary on society and a moving piece of art, that will leave the viewer with a lasting impression. Namkeen remains an evergreen classic, and is a must-watch film for anyone who loves cinema.

Namkeen is a Drama movie released in 1982. It has a runtime of . Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.8..

Sharmila Tagore, Shabana Azmi, Waheeda Rehman, Sanjeev Kumar
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