|Directed by||Rituparno Ghosh|
|Produced by||Shree Venkatesh Films|
The Gift of the Magi|
by O. Henry
|Music by||Debajyoti Mishra|
|Edited by||Arghakamal Mitra|
|Distributed by||Shree Venkatesh Films|
|Box office||₹48.76 million|
Raincoat is a 2004 Indian drama film directed by Rituparno Ghosh, and starring Ajay Devgn and Aishwarya Rai. It tells the story of two lovers, separated by destiny, who meet again one day. This encounter allows each to realize the truth about the lives they are living. It is an adaptation of the short story The Gift of the Magi (1906) by O. Henry and is the inspiration of Mithaq Kazimi's English adaptation of this film, Through Her Eyes, currently on IMDB's Top Short Films of India.
The film won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi and was nominated for the Crystal Globe for Best Feature Film at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Rai also won the Zee Cine Award for Critics' Choice Best Actress and was nominated for the Filmfare Best Actress Award and Star Screen Award Best Actress.
The story begins with unemployed Manu (Ajay Devgn), from Bhagalpur in search of money to finance his new business as he has lost his earlier job at a jute mill. On his quest, he visits Neeru (Aishwarya Rai) in Calcutta, to whom he was engaged six years ago. During the rainy evening, the couple reminisce about their former love and how each ended up in their current situation.
Neeru pretends to lead a happy and prosperous life. She gestures to her former lover during various instances, particularly when the door bell rings and she persuades Manu not to open the door. They go on talking about their past and present with multiple flashbacks.
The raincoat comes to play when Neeru wears it to go out and fetch some food. The landlord (Annu Kapoor) speaks of the real situation of the household, and prompts Manu to give his borrowed money as rent for the house. Manu leaves a letter under the bed sheet explaining things. When Neeru returns he does not say anything about his encounter with her landlord. After some time Manu leaves. Later, when he puts his hand inside the pocket of his raincoat, he finds a pair of gold bangles that belonged to Neeru, along with a letter saying that she had a lot of money and he should have told her about his financial situation. She had actually read a letter that was inside the raincoat that informed her about Manu's condition.
- Aishwarya Rai as Neerja "Neeru"
- Ajay Devgn as Mannu
- Surekha Sikri as Mannu's mother
- Annu Kapoor as Landlord
- Sameer Dharmadhikari (as Sammeer) as Alok
- Mauli Ganguly
- Pradip Adhikari
- Kailash Koppikar
- Kameshwar Mishra
- Dilip Patra
- Sampooran Singh Gulzar
Srinjoy Bhattacharya experimented with the music of the film. The songs are all background numbers. Famous classical singer Shubha Mudgal lends her voice for the title track. Songs are listed below.
- "Mathura Nagar Pati, kahen tum gokul jaao" sung by Shubha Mudgal
- "Piya Tora Kaisa Abhimaan?" sung by Shubha Mudgal and poetic commentary by Gulzar
- "Piya Tora Kaisa Abhimaan?" male rendition by Hariharan
The song "Piya Tora Kaisa Abhimaan" is sung by Raghav Chattopadhya and not by Hariharan. Hariharan had recorded this song for the film but the picturisation of this song is by Raghav Chattopadhya.
The Times Of India gave a three stars out of five. Rediff cited "Some films attempt to showcase a series of wonderful moments and tend to go overboard. Raincoat captures just one poignant moment and tells it as simply it can, leaving you with a wow. For someone heralded as the most beautiful woman in the world, Aishwarya Rai looks terrifyingly depressing in the film. Her Neeru looks cynical to the point of suicide. And that's a compliment. Her body language is a strange mix of a passive housewife and a passionate girlfriend. Though the effort to sound rustic shows, the restraint in her dialogue delivery and performance is commendable. Hesitation, desperation, humiliation -- Ajay Devgan conveys them eloquently. He particularly stands out in the scenes where he cries in the bathroom, or begs Neeru not to marry someone else".
The Hindu stated "Raincoat... essentially a chamber piece, it weaves a narrative with just two characters in most of the frames. Raincoat can easily be Aishwarya Rai's best performance, and as Neerja, the former beauty queen appears to have shed her inhibitions about looking unglamorous. In fact, most of time, Rai looks quite plain. What is more, she seems to have made an earnest effort to emote, using less of her body and limbs and more of her face, and eyes in particular. Ajay Devagan as Manoj is Devagan, as we have seen him in an umpteen number of parts earlier, although Ghosh draws the actor out of a certain woodenness that he is known for".
Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama said "On the whole, Raincoat will appeal to a handful of critics and connoisseurs of art house cinema who'll heap lavish praises/lustrous words, but from the box-office point of view, Raincoat will face stormy weather at the ticket window".
Derek Elley from Variety (magazine) described it as "Raincoat is a chamber-sized gem. Melancholic, rainy afternoon drama, almost entirely set in a single house, features meaty roles for two of Indian cinema's biggest stars, Aishwarya Rai and Ajay Devgan, in very different guises from their usual Bollywood ones. Though pic is unlikely to score big locally when it goes out in August against more commercial heavy-hitters like Swades and The Rising, Raincoat could build a solid rep at fests, with some pickups by specialized webs and niche distribs. As in Ghosh's previous pic, "Chokher Bali: A Passion Play" (2003), Rai reveals herself as a considerable actress given the right script and direction, far from the comic-romantic roles in most of her Bollywood productions. Shunning her usual immaculate makeup and duds, and looking more like a broken, malfunctioning doll, she makes Niru a mixture of child and temptress/charmer, driven by capricious moods and clearly unhappy inside. It's the showier of the two perfs, but Devgan, in ultra low-key mode, is equally impressive, especially in the latter stages as his great love for the woman he once knew reveals itself in an act of charity".
Raincoat grossed ₹48.76 million worldwide.
Raincoat holds the record of completing shoot in 16 days.
- "Raincoat - Movie - Box Office India". www.boxofficeindia.com.
- "Through Her Eyes (2007)". IMDb. 14 January 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
- "Behind closed doors". The Times Of India. 2004-12-24.
- "Rain coat is simply beautiful". Rediff. Archived from the original on 6 April 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2009.
- "Raincoat". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2004-12-31. Retrieved 2004-12-31.
- Bollywood Hungama. "C Kkompany". Retrieved 14 January 2015.
- Elley, Derek (2004-07-30). "Raincoat". Variety.