Firaaq

Film

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Time Out says

Tue Apr 14 2009

A first-rate ensemble drama set during the 2002 riots in Gujarat where three thousand Muslims were killed by Hindu soldiers and civilians, written and directed by well-known Indian actress Nandita Das. A middle class, mixed-marriage couple, a poor Muslim family whose house was burned down, and young boy whose parents were killed by the Hindus put a human face on the troubles, but despite the heavy subject matter, Das draws optimism and sparks of black humour from the various narrative strands.
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Release details

UK release:

2008

Duration:

101 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Nandita Das

Screenwriter:

Nandita Das

Cast:

Naseeruddin Shah, Deepti Naval, Shahana Goswami

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

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usman latif khawaja

THE GHOULS OF A GENOCIDE IN AN EXTEMPORE EMOTION The opening montage reveals the theme in grandiose horror ,where dilapidated corporation lorries are dumping mounds of butchered corpses in a Muslim cemetery in the spring of 2002 in GUJARAT,as the two fatigued grave diggers bury them in mass graves ,one spots a female corpse with a hindu icon and starts to hit her in a spontaneous rage while the other tries to restrain his visceral rage on an already dead human being . Nandita Das has populated her inherently complex theme of religious strife and genocide in overt and subtle overtures where her ambiguous characters mingle in a relative time frame torn with strife . She observes this nightmare from the eyes of a seven year old orphaned Muslim boy who awaits the incipient return of his beloved father butchered in the carnage . The boy is both a mascot of hope and a bitter reminder of the fragile bond that binds the two nations in the same homeland as he observes the atrocities with his vacuous dazed stare which is the hallmark of great cinema as it is neither a sentimental tearjerker or a sermon on morality but an observation of a bleak truth in anticipationn of no optimistic relief . Das has written the script flawlessly mingling her two communities in the immediate aftermath where a largely guilty hindu majority is sympathetic yet afraid to overtly express their disapproval of the state sponsored genocide . Deepti Naval is haunted by the face and pleas of a muslim woman who begged her to let her in to escape the marauding mob but She did not have the courage to perform a simple deed but it hants her as a nightmare ,in lieu she takes in the young muslim boy as a servant and pretends he is a hindu lad which is an impersonation as bleak as the battered landscape of gutted homes and deserted streets ,and so powerful in its truth as to describe the whole essence of the tragedy . yet we have Mugheera ,played by an excellent Shahnawan,A married Muslim woman with a child who had gone into hiding during the horrific riots and returns to find a gutted home and deep mistrust of her hindu neighbours,the idea of segregation is introduced by her scepticism of living with life-long friends who she now blames for the ruins of her homestead . Sanjay suri plays a professional UPPER class Muslim married to a Hindu lady of means who as a couple are debating to leave Gujarat for Delhi but is their identity going to change with the venue . This debate is intense INSANE and that is the crux of the circumstance created out of a sordid political scam which has changed the life of these human beings irrespective of their beliefs forever,and further crowned by Naseeruddin Shah playing a great Muslim musician living in a hindu majority area who is in denial of the riots and blames the whole thing on a ruined economy .he awaits his muslim students to arrive and his observation of the destruction of a muslim shrine in the vicinity is emotionally devastating as he tries to find the destroyed building which has been obliterated . Das has for once immensely reversed the Bollywood sentimentality of the religious strife and passed it from the world of entertainment to grey shades of reality entrenched in art . the performances aside ,the sparse music and absence of songs packed in 101 minutes of tumultuous drama which sheds a new light on the contemporary indian social structure where an icon like a BINDI can be a life-saver is an iconoclastic classic in itself . The child here is the future of the state that is left without any security and is destined to become a slum dweller to the detriment of the community itself . As she observes the terrorised Muslim community trying to escape or trying to attempt some form of revenge she is both sensitive and serene but never sentimental as her vision is immersed in the reality of the time frame which is created immaculately by a very committed team work . The taunting army officers who ask Suri to take her Hindu wife and immigrate to Pakistan is the truth she wants us to dwell upon and she succeeds in every moment of the precious stock used . A horrendous and spellbinding debut by a fecund intelligent female mind who redeems the mediocrity of bollywood by her anguish ridden muslim protagonists and the equally guilty yet reluctant hindu inhabitants ,this fuses the tragedy of the event without indulging in any protest but in doing so becomes a lasting emancipation for humanity itself . AS SUGGESTED BY THE OPULENT URDU TITLE ,this is a ballad of morose and melancholic poetic beauty that impresses your heart with a seal of turbulent emotional deluge yet it remains impssive simultaneously in it's mourning of the symbolic communal seperation as suggested by the metaphorical term itself .

usman latif khawaja

THE GHOULS OF A GENOCIDE IN AN EXTEMPORE EMOTION The opening montage reveals the theme in grandiose horror ,where dilapidated corporation lorries are dumping mounds of butchered corpses in a Muslim cemetery in the spring of 2002 in GUJARAT,as the two fatigued grave diggers bury them in mass graves ,one spots a female corpse with a hindu icon and starts to hit her in a spontaneous rage while the other tries to restrain his visceral rage on an already dead human being . Nandita Das has populated her inherently complex theme of religious strife and genocide in overt and subtle overtures where her ambiguous characters mingle in a relative time frame torn with strife . She observes this nightmare from the eyes of a seven year old orphaned Muslim boy who awaits the incipient return of his beloved father butchered in the carnage . The boy is both a mascot of hope and a bitter reminder of the fragile bond that binds the two nations in the same homeland as he observes the atrocities with his vacuous dazed stare which is the hallmark of great cinema as it is neither a sentimental tearjerker or a sermon on morality but an observation of a bleak truth in anticipationn of no optimistic relief . Das has written the script flawlessly mingling her two communities in the immediate aftermath where a largely guilty hindu majority is sympathetic yet afraid to overtly express their disapproval of the state sponsored genocide . Deepti Naval is haunted by the face and pleas of a muslim woman who begged her to let her in to escape the marauding mob but She did not have the courage to perform a simple deed but it hants her as a nightmare ,in lieu she takes in the young muslim boy as a servant and pretends he is a hindu lad which is an impersonation as bleak as the battered landscape of gutted homes and deserted streets ,and so powerful in its truth as to describe the whole essence of the tragedy . yet we have Mugheera ,played by an excellent Shahnawan,A married Muslim woman with a child who had gone into hiding during the horrific riots and returns to find a gutted home and deep mistrust of her hindu neighbours,the idea of segregation is introduced by her scepticism of living with life-long friends who she now blames for the ruins of her homestead . Sanjay suri plays a professional UPPER class Muslim married to a Hindu lady of means who as a couple are debating to leave Gujarat for Delhi but is their identity going to change with the venue . This debate is intense INSANE and that is the crux of the circumstance created out of a sordid political scam which has changed the life of these human beings irrespective of their beliefs forever,and further crowned by Naseeruddin Shah playing a great Muslim musician living in a hindu majority area who is in denial of the riots and blames the whole thing on a ruined economy .he awaits his muslim students to arrive and his observation of the destruction of a muslim shrine in the vicinity is emotionally devastating as he tries to find the destroyed building which has been obliterated . Das has for once immensely reversed the Bollywood sentimentality of the religious strife and passed it from the world of entertainment to grey shades of reality entrenched in art . the performances aside ,the sparse music and absence of songs packed in 101 minutes of tumultuous drama which sheds a new light on the contemporary indian social structure where an icon like a BINDI can be a life-saver is an iconoclastic classic in itself . The child here is the future of the state that is left without any security and is destined to become a slum dweller to the detriment of the community itself . As she observes the terrorised Muslim community trying to escape or trying to attempt some form of revenge she is both sensitive and serene but never sentimental as her vision is immersed in the reality of the time frame which is created immaculately by a very committed team work . The taunting army officers who ask Suri to take her Hindu wife and immigrate to Pakistan is the truth she wants us to dwell upon and she succeeds in every moment of the precious stock used . A horrendous and spellbinding debut by a fecund intelligent female mind who redeems the mediocrity of bollywood by her anguish ridden muslim protagonists and the equally guilty yet reluctant hindu inhabitants ,this fuses the tragedy of the event without indulging in any protest but in doing so becomes a lasting emancipation for humanity itself . AS SUGGESTED BY THE OPULENT URDU TITLE ,this is a ballad of morose and melancholic poetic beauty that impresses your heart with a seal of turbulent emotional deluge yet it remains impssive simultaneously in it's mourning of the symbolic communal seperation as suggested by the metaphorical term itself .

usman khawaja

the best movie to come out of india in the last two years and an examination of the hindu conscience itself in a subversive society of pseudo secularity . nandita das examines the damage done to the souls of the perpetrators in perspective to human conscience -this deserves the highest applause ever .

usman khawaja

the best movie to come out of india in the last two years and an examination of the hindu conscience itself in a subversive society of pseudo secularity . nandita das examines the damage done to the souls of the perpetrators in perspective to human conscience -this deserves the highest applause ever .

Akanksha Agarwal

The movie begins with a fantastic start hitting the emotions hard and make you touch 2002, however as the movie goes on it looses its dept to connect the viewers to the suffering of people. The movie shows the muslims as victims and Hindu's as culprit instead of showing that irrespective who ever was the culprit the common man suffered. The movie has a brilliant cast and they acted as usual amazingly however the short movies had weak links and didnt bring the dept out. Over all dissapointed with the direction. Nandita Das should stick to acting and not story writing or direction.