BAABUL tackles the issue of widow re-marriage, an issue the late Raj Kapoor successfully raised in PREM ROG [Rishi Kapoor, Padmini Kolhapure]. But comparisons between PREM ROG and BAABUL wouldn't be right, except that both talk about the rehabilitation of a young widow.
Balraj Kapoor (Amitabh Bachchan) is a rich buisnessman, happy and content with his world. He and his wife Shobhana (Hema Malini) have a son Avinash (Salman Khan). After many years of studying abroad, Avinash announces that he is returning home. Soon Malvika "Milli" Talwar (Rani Mukerji) enters his life. Love blossoms between them and they get married and are soon blessed with a son, Ansh. However tradegy strikes the family when Avinash is killed in an accident. The loss is too much for Milli and she slowly falls into depression.
Balraj seeks to bring happiness back into Milli's life and he gets into contact with Rajat (John Abraham). Rajat was Milli's friend and he secretly loved her but never told her. Balraj asks Rajat to marry Milli but he faces opposition from his traditional elder brother Balwant (Om Puri).
soundtrack of 'Baabul' can be defined as HIGH QUALITY. There is not a single moment in the album when one feels cheated or thinks that high claims about the album being distinct are untrue. Instead one just feels the urge of appreciating Aadesh Srivastava for the sheer range he brings in the music of the album. Though 'Come On' is a chartbuster all the way, the songs which are most impressive in the album are those that are soft numbers/situational tracks. These may not turn out to be the tracks that would be played down the street but in a remote corner of your house, they are bound to bring in a tear/smile or two!
Rani and Amitabh are good together throughout but their bonding leading to the final act does not show. It's more of Amitabh doing a noble act for his young daughter-in-law than his doing it because he feels fatherly towards her. Hema Malini looks gorgeous and acts her part with amazing grace. Salman is natural and provides ample light moments. He's cute when courting Rani. John is perfect, although the dashing guy is looking pale and tired at times. Sarika [tremendous], Sharat Saxena [very good] and Smita Jaykar [competent]. Rajpal Yadav doesn't get much scope. Aman Verma and Parmeet Sethi are forced characters.
On the whole, Baabul works, primarily because of Amitabh and Rani -- his resilience and her restraint. The film, undoubtedly, belongs to them..