Filmistaan Film Review:Hindustan Na Pakistan, Ab ki Baar Filmistaan

| June 6, 2014 | 0 Comments
Filmistan PosterTwo things that stir deep and wide-ranging emotions between India and Pakistan are cricket and Hindi films from Bollywood.Whereas cricket evokes more of rivalry and passionate reactions, hindi films are a glue that bonds the people across the border in more humane way.
Filmistaan is a tribute to such bonding and camaraderie between the communities regardless of religion, creed or geographical location. Its the celebration of innocence and vulnerability buried under the hard crust of distrust and political power games.
War Chodd Na Yaar(2013) and more recently Kya Dilli Kya Lahore(2014) have dealt in their humorous and serious ways with the various shades of trauma and nostalgia felt by people torn apart by the axe of partition. Filmistaan takes a different route and talks of the commonalities between the two nations-the commonalities of language, dressing, food, music and dance that are encapsulated so well in Hindi films.After decades of separation, post Kapoors,Kumars and Khannas, its Khans that are a shared treasure between the two countries.Filmistaan is a reminder to this shared treasure.
Though its neither Heena,Gadar-Ek Prem Katha or Veer Zara, still it talks of love– a shared love of Maa, so what if its cine-maa.So here cinema is not just a source of entertainment within the darkened spaces of video parlours or cinema houses, it is cine-maa, a mother like figure that exudes love, caring and spirit of celebration and brotherhood.
Debutante director Nitin Kakkar shies away from highlighting the aftermath and consequenes of partition but spotlights the tentacles of terrorism that are suffocating the lifeline in Pakistan too. His story has freshness that is absolutely out of the box. It has no sadness and inherent tragedy of Saadat Hasan Manto’s partition tales, nor the utterly sombre tone of Amrita Pritam’s Pinjar. It is so simple yet so sensitive that you wonder Oh, why did not I think of this idea!
Shorn of any rhetoric or jingoism, Filmistaan is about a diehard hindi film buff Sunny Arora( Sharib Hashmi) who aspires to be a hot-shot actor in Bollywood. To feed his dream he does an odd ad, jingle or even assist on any film production. One such assignment takes him as an assistant director on a documentary film being made by an American crew. Its his bad luck that he is kidnapped by a Pakistani’s terror outfits footsoldiers who assume to have abducted an American.
It was their game plan to demand a hefty ransom for the release of this kidnapped American. Now that this Indian Sunny is brought in, he becomes a millstone around their necks. The house where he is kept in captivity belongs to a Pakistani vendor of pirated Bollywood films, one Aftaab (Inaamulhaq of Firaaq). This quirky common film passion becomes a catalyst for Sunny and Aftaab’s friendship. Hindi cinema bonds them.Eventually Aftaab promises  Sunny to take back home by crossing the border from Rajasthan. But does their plan succeed?. That is the climax of this funny, sombrely brilliant film.
Its one of those movies that definitely deserves an award for best original screenplay. The narrative is laced with humour, drama and ironical incidents.Dialogues bring a chuckle and smile to the face.The progression of drama keeps you glued and you keep wondering that with so much commonality why this kolaveri di between two neighbouring countries?.Why this hungama when we are the same here and across the border.
Its in acting department that debutante Sharib Hashmi and Inamulhaq score with their endearing, natural performances. Both prove to be a perfect foil to eachother.Kumud Mishra in the role of a Pakistani terrorist leaves a mark.Rest of the non-star cast shines with their sincere cameos.
 Movie that fetched a national award for best hindi feature film of year 2013  and a special jury mention at the Busan International Film festival is Director Nitin Kakkar’s dark yet funny and entertaining take on a thorny issue of terrorist menace between India and Pakistan.Its a film that does not look at people as Indians or Pakistanis but human beings so very like Saadat Hasan Manto’s characters.
In its 120 odd minutes of running time, with few of repetitions marring its flow,Filmistaan otherwise sucks you in the progression of the drama. Shubransu Das with his minimal camerawork proves what all can be done on shoestring budgets.
With no star power, no love story or item songs to back it up Filmistaan is really a celebration of the spirit of independent cinema.Full credit to the daring of debutante director Nitin Kakkar. Na Hindustan na Pakistan, Ab ki baar Filmistaan. Highly recommended.Book your seat now.

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Category: Reviews

About the Author ()

Dhieraj Mohan is Hindi cinema's keen observer. With earnest interest in its dynamics and constantly changing milieu he revels in dwelling on the discrepancies, idiosyncrasies,contradictions,masala and the formula that defines Bollywood.He is a poet and a screenwriter too,who simply adores Hindi cinema's chameleon like traits.

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