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

Sri Lankan Air Force pilots fly MiG-27 jet fighters during a passing out ceremony of 329 men and officers in the north-eastern town of Trincomalee on August 21, 2009. Ishara S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images

Motorcyclist miraculously survives crash with Indian fighter jet

VANCOUVER DESI A 26-year-old groom-to-be miraculously survived after an Indian fighter jet collided with his motorcycle in Rajasthan, according to Britain’s Daily Mail. Loon Singh,…
Continue Reading »

Barinder Rasode now is director of social responsibility at Resource Works, a non-profit society that researches the economic impacts of B.C.’s natural resource industries. File photo: Richard Lam/PNG

Barinder Rasode, former Surrey councillor and mayoral candidate, hired by non-profit society

VANCOUVER DESI Former Surrey city councillor and mayoral candidate Barinder Rasode has a new post outside civic politics. Rasode was appointed to Fraser Health’s board…
Continue Reading »

Mahdi Halane was filled with life before being shot in the neck in 2006 as an innocent victim of a drive-by shooting. He died in 2012. A Surrey man has now been charged with manslaughter in the case. Submitted photo/Surrey Now

Family of innocent victim of Surrey drive-by shooting ‘very nervous’ as they face son’s alleged killer in court eight years later

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY, B.C. — The Halane family received another knock at their door late Friday night. The last time police came calling, in…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Barinder Rasode now is director of social responsibility at Resource Works, a non-profit society that researches the economic impacts of B.C.’s natural resource industries. File photo: Richard Lam/PNG

Barinder Rasode, former Surrey councillor and mayoral candidate, hired by non-profit society

VANCOUVER DESI Former Surrey city councillor and mayoral candidate Barinder Rasode has a new post outside civic politics. Rasode was appointed to Fraser Health’s board…
Continue Reading »

Mahdi Halane was filled with life before being shot in the neck in 2006 as an innocent victim of a drive-by shooting. He died in 2012. A Surrey man has now been charged with manslaughter in the case. Submitted photo/Surrey Now

Family of innocent victim of Surrey drive-by shooting ‘very nervous’ as they face son’s alleged killer in court eight years later

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY, B.C. — The Halane family received another knock at their door late Friday night. The last time police came calling, in…
Continue Reading »

A woman is in hospital following a serious assault in a Surrey home Monday. Surrey RCMP said the woman suffered head injuries from a beating that occurred in a residence in the 12800-block 100th Avenue just before 1:30 p.m. Photo by Shane MacKichan for The Province.

Woman in serious condition after being beaten in Surrey home

CHERYL CHAN VANCOUVER DESI A woman is in hospital following a serious assault in a Surrey home Monday. Surrey RCMP said the woman suffered head…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Vancouver-BC

Raise your hand, send us a selfie and make a statement against racism (with video)

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver Desi’s digital anti-racism campaign, Raise Your Hands Against Racism, officially kicked off Thursday, with people across the Lower Mainland sending in selfies…
Continue Reading »

FILE PHOTO: A leopard walks with a tranquiliser dart in the residential area of Jyotikuchi in Guwahati, the capital city of the northeastern state of Assam on March 15, 2009. Three people were mauled by the leopard after the cat strayed into the city before it was tranquilised by forestry department officials. BIJU BORO/AFP/Getty Images

Leopard in India beaten to death by villagers after vicious attack

IANS Kolkata  – A young male leopard was beaten to death by a mob of angry villagers on Monday after it strayed into a West…
Continue Reading »

prv0122Nfashion01

Passion for fashion turned into day job for Surrey clothing designer

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Surrey’s Davi Bains-Gill never thought her love for fashion and design could be her livelihood. She pursued a career in social…
Continue Reading »

five hole main

Donated equipment from Vancouver on its way to hockey-mad northern India

KENT SPENCER VANCOUVER DESI The neat thing about a Canadian effort to donate hockey equipment to the Himalayas is that there is a lot of…
Continue Reading »

In this Tuesday, April 2, 2013 photo, foreign tourists walk on a street near the railway station in New Delhi, India. Violence against women, and the huge publicity generated by recent attacks here, is threatening India's $17.7 billion tourism industry. AP Photo /Manish Swarup

India wants female tourists to feel safe when they visit

NATALIE OBIKO PEARSON BLOOMBERG NEWS Don’t move alone, don’t go anywhere at midnight and don’t get into a vehicle without first taking a photo of…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

desi sex

Shah Rukh Khan says he “doesn’t deserve” any awards for Happy New Year

HINDUSTAN TIMES Bollywood Badshah Shah Rukh Khan has a shocking and honest confession to make – and it’s about award functions. The Chennai Express actor…
Continue Reading »

Indian Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan during the launch of the new Hindi general entertainment television channel '&TV' and its flagship show 'Poochega  Sabse Shaana Kaun' in Mumbai on January 21, 2015. STRSTRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

Will Shah Rukh Khan be the new face for West Bengal tourism?

IANS Kolkata  – Bollywood heartthrob Shah Rukh Khan is rumoured to be part of West Bengal’s upcoming ambitious tourism campaign,  according to a senior tourism department…
Continue Reading »

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the Siri Fort Auditorium, a government-run event center, in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. Obama gently nudged India Tuesday to fulfill its constitution's pledge to uphold the "dignity of the individual," drawing on his own experience as a minority in the United States as he closed out a three-day visit to New Delhi. AP Photo/Saurabh Das

Shah Rukh Khan on cloud nine after Obama shout out

IANS Mumbai  – Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan is on cloud nine after U.S. President Barack Obama incorporated his famous Senorita dialogue in his address…
Continue Reading »