The experience of being young and trapped - between two parents, two potential livelihoods and two warring states - is superbly evoked in this terse, anxious coming-of-age story set in a mid-sized Kashmiri town on the permanent brink of violence. As his mother seeks news of her missing son and his father slips into a post-traumatic stupor, taciturn twentysomething Rafiq (Shahnawaz Bhat) hunts desperately for an escape route. It's a grim, deliberately paced film, brought to life by the extraordinary eye of Shanker Raman, whose work on 2007's Himalayan drama 'Frozen' marked him as one of the finest cinematographers in the world. Raman's compositions here are darker, looser and less painstaking, but they manage to lift this brooding drama from bleak to blissful.
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