Being one of the largest movie making industry, Bollywood, releases more than around 500 movies every year! Some answers claims it to be around 1000 (like this ), but many of them failed registering their names in people’s memory. Anyway, from these around 500 recognizable movies, not all of them are worth the money and time.
Sure, no one wants to make a movie which people don’t like to watch (apart from some exceptional cases, when turning black money to white is sole motive behind making a movie). Some of them, however, turns out to be the movie which people like to avoid. Limited talent and resources, limited budget, the things didn’t go as per the planning, availability of limited screens, piracy, and viewers’s likes/dislikes plays a vital role in a movie’s success (or for that matter, a failure).
Some movies, however, are made with honesty (towards the craft) and they succeed in making a buzz. We came across such a good movie recently – Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran. There is one more movie released in recent past which follows the theme of nationalism – Raazi.
The movie is based on Harinder Sikka’s book Calling Sehmat. Frankly speaking, I haven’r read the book yet, so I cannot compare the script of the movie with the book and draw parallel about the similarities or differences, or how faithful the movie remains to the book.
|Produced by||:||Vineet Jain, Karan Johar, Hiroo Yash Johar, Apoorva Mehta|
|Screenplay||:||Bhavani Iyer, Meghna Gulzar|
|Based on||:||Calling Sehmat, Harinder Sikka|
|Cinematography||:||Jay I. Patel|
|Production Company||:||Junglee Pictures, Dharma Productions|
|Distributed by||:||AA Films|
|Release Dates||:||11 May 2018|
|Starring||:||Alia Bhatt (Sehmat Khan / Sehmat Syed), Vicky Kaushal (Iqbal Syed), Ashwath Bhatt (Mehboob Syed), Arif Zakaria (Abdul), Rajit Kapoor (Hidayat Khan), Amruta Khanvilkar (Munira), Shishir Sharma (Brigadier Syed), Soni Razdan (Teji Khan), Jaideep Ahlawat (Khalid Mir), Sanjay Suri (Samar Syed), Aman Vasishth (Nikhil Bakshi), Kanwaljit Singh (Older Nikhil Bakshi), and others…|
Let us take a bird’s eye view of the plot of the movie.
In the opening scene, we see, Lt. Nikhil Bakshi was talking to the fellow soldiers on the deck of INS Vikrant. He was sharing his memories and experiences about the war of 1971, which India fought against Pakistan. While delivering the speech, he recalls the memories of Ghazi Attack and the pre-war situations. There comes the story of Sehmat Khan, daughter of Hidayat Khan. Hidayat Khan, a resident of Kashmir, and his forefathers fought for the freedom of India against the British invaders. The sense of nationalism and will do to anything for the motherland was running along with the blood in their veins.
Hidayat is getting older with time and he used to go Pakistan for business purpose there. His main job is to collect crucial strategic information about Pakistan’s plan against India and deliver it to the RAW. He used to meet Brigadier Syed there. Syed and Hidayat were friends since long. One day, Hidayat learns that Pakistan is planning something crucial against India! He, however, was unable to get further information. Collecting this information is very much necessary and it require him to spend a few months for the same.
And that is the currency he doesn’t possess anymore. He was diagnosed with cancer and had only a few months to live. So, he cannot do it anymore. But, how a true nationalist can let his nation fail? He, decided to get her daughter to get ready for the task.
Sehmat Khan, a young girl still studying, has a very fragile nature. She is very uncomfortable seeing even a spot of blood!. And yes, she hates the needle of injection too. So she is complete opposite of what it is required to be a spy implanted into the opposition territory.
How Sehmat fulfils her father’s wish and does her bits for the country and what personal sacrifices she has to offer during the journey is explored in the movie quite interestingly.
Meghna Gulzar is a fantastic director, and there are no two thoughts on the same. Though, she got much recognition after her last movie Talvar, her earlier movies were considerably good. But, as we know, the commercial success of the movie matters a lot. Often, the box office collection of the movie is considered as the parameter to judge a director, and it puts many talented ones in the back seat.
She wrote the screenplay of critically acclaimed “Hu Tu Tu” directed by Gulzar. Her movies Filhaal… and Just Married are way better than some of the “super-hit at box-office” movies.
Anyway, let us talk about Raazi.
As a director Meghna did a fantastic job in this movie. She is in complete control of the story throughout. In some of the sequences, you will feel the tension and thrill, the protagonist (or for that matter, the other characters too) is experiencing. When the director is able to took the viewer into the fantasy world he/she is exploring, it is his/her success.
The casting director did a really remarkable job in finding right actors for the right roles. Alia does justice to her role and it is good to see her performing. She looks fragile and strong, emotional and detached, all convincingly. She grew up a lot as an actor and in addition to her talent, her way of remaining true to the art and putting in efforts honestly, pays off.
This movie, once again prove that what the feminism is all about. It is not about lecturing about dress length or personal life and abusing the other gender, it is all about having a strong character. Gender doesn’t matter when you have the talent. The entire move revolves around the female protagonist who is the strongest character of the tale.
Rajit Kapoor is a fantastic actor and we had seen see terrific performances in various movies and TV Shows like Byomkesh Bakshi. In a small role, he makes his presence felt. Jaideep Ahlawat comes as a surprise package. if you’ve watched his performance in Commando – A One Man Army, you couldn’t believe that he is playing a contrast (in terms of personality) roles here. It shows his range as an actor. It is sad that such actors do not get the required recognition at right time.
Vicky Kaushal is convincing as Iqbal Syed. His efforts are genuine and are shown on the screen. Arif Zakaria got only a few scenes are almost four to five dialogs, he is another talent which didn’t get work as per his talent in the film industry despite of having a long career. Amruta Khanvilkar (Munira) and Shishir Sharma (Brigadier Syed) acts their part convincingly. None of them go overplaying but sticks to the basics and comes out as a natural performers. Rest of actors are doing their bits. Overall, good performances from everyone.
The movie also tries to balance the nationalism elements. While it strongly puts the views of India, and true Indian nationalists for whom nothing is more important than the country, it is not bashing Pakistan as well. While you can see “Crush India” stickers on the windshield of cars of Pakistani officers, you can also see the way Iqbal is trying to console Sehmat who should be feeling bad seeing that. The movie tries to represent a balanced approach. It also conveys that often the hatred is not planned and things are done as a chain reaction of actions.
However, pre-war time segment of 1971 is explored, the emotions of patriotic Kashmiris and Indians are not changed a bit, and hence true nationalists can relate to the same, quite easily and effectively. As a matter of fact Sehmat and her family is referred as Indian more than Kashmiri in the film. Probably it is a well-thought touch. Also, Iqbal is portrayed as a genuine and humble human being. He never advances to his wife and gives her the space she need. So, all the characters are made quite genuine or rather we say humane, and thus it is always country v/s country in the film but never person v/s person.
There are many scenes include the transformation of Sehmat from a fragile girl to a strong spy and her training and others. But, to avoid spoilers, I am just avoiding them. I want to mention just one scene where frustrated Khalid says, they (the top officials of armed forces and intelligence bureau) cannot get this information from anywhere else, as it is exclusive. (So, they should act, rather than waiting for confirmation on this tip). It is underplayed quite well.
There is no place for traditional Bollywood movie songs in this film. However, when Gulzar and Shankar-Ehsan-Loy are associated with a film, naturally, our exceptions will raise. It is not a path breaking music album, but, surely the songs are good to ear. We can consider it as a moderately good album.
The cinematography is worth a mention. The locations are chosen nicely and the camera explores the things authentically. The editing is crisp.
A nice film with the soft touch of patriotism, strong characters and fantastic performances.
If you like watching this movie then you may like watching Mukhbir as well.
Did you watch Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran?
- Buy Book From Amazon India – Paperback
- Buy Book From Amazon US – Paperback
- Buy Book From Amazon India – Kindle EBook
- Buy Book From Amazon US – Kindle EBook
Over To You:
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