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Firaaq : Movie Review

March 24, 2009

 “Firaaq”, a Urdu word which means Separation or Quest is set in the Indian state of Gujarat  when it was reeling under the spate of some horrific riots in the Spring of 2002. Directed by Nandita Das, the film’s an emotional tale of the anger, shame, guilt, indifference felt in the aftermath of the riots .

A month after the mayhem, “Firaaq” traverses the life of a muslim couple who returns to their home only to find that it has been completely burnt, a singer who’s rather oblivious to the hatred and chaos outside the four walls, a couple who are planning to move to Delhi amidst the terror, a family where the lady is still hanuted by screams and cannot tolerate the indifference shown by her bigoted husband and brother-in-law and a young boy who’s in search of his father.

The whole film revolves around these five separate stories which criss-cross once in a while and the emotions which each one of the protagonists go through. The film has some of the best actors and actresses in the country today and their action is almost as good as life itself. Without going into too many details, I bow to Deepti Naval and Paresh Rawel. Both of them are strikingly different (although they are husband and wife in the movie), and completely justify their roles with their stupendous performances. Naseeruddin Shah is as usual at his best. And the rest of cast are wonderful, check out the kid, who plays the role of “Mohsin”, his innocence is dangerously contagious.

“Firaaq” marks the directorial debut of Nandita Das, one of the most talented actress of contemporary Indian Cinema. The theme she chose for her debut is rich in content and given the cast and crew she had, it’s bound to have an impact. Ravi K Chandran’s cinematography is amazing. Extensively shot in Hyderabad, there’s an eerie look in certain scenes. Editing is consistent although the narration is little slow.

Couple of years ago, Rahul Dholakia’s “Parzania” shocked the nation with its bold and moving portrayal of the riots in Gujarat. It was provocative and horrific beyond imagination. “Firaaq” on the other hand is neither provocative nor horrific. It’s a tale of emotions which several sections of the community undergo  and it all happens in one day. The anger, the shame, the guilt hits you like a bolt, but then our indifference reigns supreme. And all we end up doing is simmer with those feelings without channelising them in the right way. The riots have always been on the poll agenda of almost every other political party…but what they forget is the people who have borne the brunt of brutality. And “Firaaq” is one such attempt to make their voices heard. For once, I hope we listen.

Note: The film is certainly not for everyone. If you want to truly understand the movie and the emotions, watch it alone!..:)

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 25, 2009 1:16 pm

    A don’t-miss-this-movie for art lovers: for the portrayal of emotion,pain,anger,innocence and hope.
    Firaaq is one of a kind.
    Nice review there Hem….

    • Hemanth permalink*
      March 25, 2009 1:40 pm

      @Rajeev…Yeah dude..totally agree with you about this flick being…Don’t Miss This Movie types…:) and Thanks!…was waiting for your candid comments!!..:D

      • March 25, 2009 6:08 pm

        Aaah 😀 welcome dude.. but shocking thing is i haven’t watched Parzania fully so far 😦

        • Hemanth permalink*
          March 26, 2009 11:25 am

          Machaaaaaa…do yourself a favour…do watch Parzania!..:)

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