I’ve been trying to review some good Hindi films recently, and today I’ve chosen Tere Naam, which is regarded as one of Bollywood superstar Salman Khan’s best performances. Khan was already a well-known star when this film was released in 2003, but I believe he had never performed so well in such a complex storyline and character before.
Tere Naam follows Radhe Mohan (Salman Khan), an unruly college student who is notorious in his neighborhood for his violent behavior. Admiring his muscles and ragging college freshmen, he lives a carefree life with his elder brother’s (Sachin Khedekar) family.
Radhe, who is not the type of man to fall in love, meets someone in the same college and begins to admire her simplicity. Nirjara (Bhoomika Chawla) is a more traditional girl who resists his initial advances. When Radhe discovers that Nirjara is already in a relationship with a priest at the local temple, he becomes enraged and misbehaves with the priest.
However, their relationship takes an unexpected turn when Radhe comes to the aid of Nirjara’s sister in a difficult situation. In such a case, she becomes convinced of Radhe’s genuine feelings. Everything appears to be on track to make Tere Naam just another Bollywood romantic comedy until the film takes an unexpected turn.
The film could easily be divided into two parts. While the first half of the film is more entertaining, with a few lighter moments, the second half is brutal, realistic, emotionally draining, and tragic. Of course, for fans of Khan’s romantic films, this was shocking and unexpected.
Satish Kaushik, the director, wanted to bring something different, and that uniqueness comes with the storyline, in which Radhe is attacked by goons and severely beaten up, landing him in the hospital with no memories of his past. After being treated in the hospital, he was transferred to a traditional but inhumane mental institution, where Nirjara paid him a surprise visit. There, he began recalling his memories and even attempted, but failed, to flee.
Meanwhile, Nirjara’s parents, as well as Radhe’s brother, persuaded her to marry. Meanwhile, Radhe attempted another escape, this time successfully leaving the institution and arriving at Nirjara’s home, only to discover that she had died. Radhe is distraught after concluding that she committed suicide. Even though the audience has the impression that he is in good health, he eventually decides to return to mental care because he has nothing else to look forward to in life.
After years of playing happy and lovable romantic guy characters, this film is a departure for Salman Khan to try something as large and diverse. Despite the fact that Tere Naam is a remake of the Tamil film ‘Sethu’ (1999), the director had every opportunity to deviate from the original story and make it one of those masala movies, but he did the right thing by bringing out one of Salman Khan’s best performances.
Director: Satish Kaushik
Starring: Salman Khan, Bhumika Chawla, Sachin Khedekar, Savita Prabhune, Ravi Kishan, Sarfaraz Khan
Based on ‘Sethu’ (Tamil)
Cinematography: Sethu Sriram
Music: Himesh Reshammiya, Sajid–Wajid
Release date: 15 August 2003
Tere Naam was nominated for a total of 24 Awards, winning 7 of them, including 8 Filmfare Award nominations. As per some media reports, director Kaushik is planning to make a sequel but the script is still under development.