Filmistaan: A heart warming hug across the border (w/trailer)

Published: June 5, 2014

SUBHASH K. JHA
IANS 

Film: “Filmistaan”; Cast: Sharib Hashmi, Innamulhaq; Writer-Director: Nitin Kakkar; Rating: ****

Bollywood movie review

Filmistaan: Jai Cinema Ki (Facebook)

Hold this film tight. There is an utterly moving sequence towards the end of this lovely parable on cross-border amity where Sunny(Sharib Hashmi), who has strayed into Pakistan, confesses to Aftaab(Innamulhaq) that he is obsessed with Bollywood and wants to be a hero, though he knows he doesn’t have it in him.

“Mera asli hero toh tu hi hai,” Aftaab tells Sunny sincerely.

For me, that moment sums up the mood of this big-little film. Made at a shoestring budget by fringe talent, the film shows us that true heroes can be found in most unexpected places.

Try this hamlet in the back of the beyond in Pakistan where our Bollywood struggler is locked up by militants who actually wanted to kidnap Americans for …errrm…negotiations.

And look what they dragged in!

“Filmistaan” would have been an outrageously funny film were it not for the profoundly moving underbelly that it secretes with such fluency and spontaneity. The film could have become a gallery of cliches about Indo-Pak harmony. A sort of Veer-Zara turned into a Veru and Zara-uddin who become friends in Pakistani soil while guns boom all around them.

Sachindra Vats edits the scenes down to the minimum when required. But generally he lets the charactes develop naturally even if the process takes some time. The film is shot in authentic locations by cinematographer Subhransu Das who brings to the table an enticing aaura of believability.

The dialogues written by the film’s lead Sharib Hashmi never become top-heavy with message-mongering, nor does the going get excessively verbose as it did in the recent cross-border film “Kya Dilli Kay Lahore”.

It’s astonishing how director Nitin Kakkar averts all the corny cliches of brotherhood across the barbed wire. By simply using Bollywood as the binding factor between the two countries, Kakkar emerges with a plot that is high on emotions and low on tripe and homilies.

The two actors who play the Indian and Pakistan do the rest. So effortlesstly do they express the oneness of a cultural kinship that we are left looking at two individuals who transcend borders to become two Every mans. Sharib Hashmi and Innamulhaq are striven by their sense of absolute abandon that comes only to artistes who have nothing to lose except their anonymity. They are phenomenally in character, not slipping up even once in their interactive zone.

Bollywood does the rest. There is a longish homage to Sooraj Barjatya’s “Maine Pyar Kiya” where we see the whole Pakistani village glued to a community television set watching Salman Khan and Bhagyashree love story. Here, as in many similar scenes showing mutual Bollywood-inspired solidarity between the two warring nations, Kakkar constructs a case for cross-border friendship without tripping over in an emotional slush.

My favourite sequence shows the captured Indian protagonist sitting in solitude in a darkened room when the sound of Reshma’s song “Ve main chori chori” wafts in. Sunny joins in with Lata Mangeshkar’s “Yaara sili sili” which is the Indian avtar of the same tune.

An entire thesis can be written in the way the film utilizes Bollwood songs on the rich soundtrack brimming over with the sounds of two cultures peering anxiously but affectionately at one another.

The storytelling never pounds out a pro-Pakistani message merely to try to tilt the socio-political balance between the two countries.

“Filmistaan” is neither for or against either country. It’s blissfully pro-Bollywood. So what happens when a struggling assistant director from India bonds with a CD pirate of Bollywood films in Pakistan? We find out with the same thrill of discovery that the director feels as he lets the two protagonists sort out their differences.

This quirky charmer from first-time director Kakkar is fresh in vision and enchanting in execution. The only happy outcome of the cross-border divide is a heartwarming film such as this. As we often say about the Wagah border, this you gotta see.

IANS 2014-06-05 13:18:03

[+]

Tags: , , , , , , , ,



Readers Comments (0)

Comments are closed.

Featured

linda-hepnerdesi

Mayoral candidate Linda Hepner commits to operational Surrey LRT by 2018

Mayoral hopeful says Surrey residents haven’t seen an expansion in LRT for two decades  AMY REID SURREY NOW SURREY — Mayoral hopeful Linda Hepner says…
Continue Reading »

10336715_10152221434949315_4707600074607000802_n

Sikhs bring campaign against violence to Vancouver

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Sikhs from around the globe are bringing their efforts to “end the silence on violence” to Vancouver this weekend. U.K.-based organization…
Continue Reading »

attack on Parliament Hill

Ottawa shooter kicked out of Burnaby mosque two years ago

Zehaf-Bibeau was asked to leave the mosque, because he had “gotten a hold of keys and stuff from the mosque, and when he got out…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Today in History – Nov. 3

Advance THE CANADIAN PRESS Today in History for Nov. 3: On this date: In 1580, English explorer Sir Francis Drake returned from his voyage around…
Continue Reading »

linda-hepnerdesi

Mayoral candidate Linda Hepner commits to operational Surrey LRT by 2018

Mayoral hopeful says Surrey residents haven’t seen an expansion in LRT for two decades  AMY REID SURREY NOW SURREY — Mayoral hopeful Linda Hepner says…
Continue Reading »

10336715_10152221434949315_4707600074607000802_n

Sikhs bring campaign against violence to Vancouver

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Sikhs from around the globe are bringing their efforts to “end the silence on violence” to Vancouver this weekend. U.K.-based organization…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Stephen Harper

Stephen Harper: Attack by ‘terrorist’ on Parliament Hill won’t weaken Canada’s resolve

JOAN BRYDEN THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA – The gunman who staged a deadly attack Wednesday on Parliament Hill was a terrorist whose despicable crime will…
Continue Reading »

SURREY-FIELD HOCKEY

Barinder Rasode announces plan to develop field hockey pitch in Surrey

Third field at Tamanawis Park would cost approximately $3 million KYLE BENNING SURREY NOW NEWTON – Barinder Rasode and the One Surrey team were at…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver-Surrey-Festival-India

Diwali celebrations in Vancouver and Surrey

DiwaliFest celebrates its 11th anniversary from Oct. 17 to 26 at various sites in Surrey and Vancouver. Diwali Celebration Friday, Oct. 24 at Firehall Centre…
Continue Reading »

India-weird news

Rudaali: India’s professional ‘weeping women’ demand higher pay

CEN AGENCY Professional mourners who are hired to turn up at people’s funerals in India, beat their breasts and wail, are going on strike for…
Continue Reading »

Abbotsford

Jag Khosa: Families pay the ultimate price of gang wars

DET. JAG KHOSA SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Late into the night, the parents of a young man struggled to sleep. The mother kept tossing and…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Salman Khan-Bollywood

Narendra Modi to attend Salman Khan’s sister Arpita Khan’s wedding?

HINDUSTAN TIMES If all goes as per plan, then Prime Minister Narendra Modi just might be attending the wedding of Salman Khan’s sister, Arpita Khan….
Continue Reading »

Bollywood kiss

Bollywood’s king of kisses Emraan Hashmi refuses to dance with the queen of sex Sunny Leone

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood’s serial kisser Emraan Hashmi has refused to share screen space with porn star-turned Bollywood-actress Sunny Leone, Indian tabloid Mid-Day reported. Hashmi, who…
Continue Reading »

Jackie Chan

First India-China joint venture film starring Jackie Chan launched

HINDUSTAN TIMES Chinese action star Jackie Chan will star in the first Sino-India joint film production slated to go on the floors in the coming…
Continue Reading »