Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Movie review - “Firaaq”


I went to watch Firaaq not knowing anything about the film and therefore not expecting much from it either. The fact that Naseeruddin Shah was in the movie was reason enough to pay the 300 Rupees to go watch it.

As someone deeply interested in politics and having been involved in several psuedo-intellectual conversations and debates about the Godhra riots, I was immediately interested and was keen to see what the director/writer’s take was on the Godhra incident. But as the movie went on, I realized that this movie was not about wrong or right, the writer did not take sides. There was no moral of the story and the movie was despair-inducing without showing any real desperate scene.

Did I find this frustrating? A little … It might have been nice to see a tighter script with some definite conclusions but I was glad that the movie was original, creative, emotionally complex and realistic - characteristics that are not present in most Bollywood movies.

Most of the characters were really well developed. The casting was spot on as most of the actors did a great job. There were 5 intertwined stories.

In the first, Paresh Rawal and Deepti Naval were exceptionally stellar. Their characters, their acting, their presence, their story was brilliant. I was always a fan of Paresh Rawal. Deepti Naval, where have you been? It would be nice to see you in more movies. Without these 2 and their episode, the movie would have been below par.

Naseer is wasted in the movie. His story starts off promisingly and he almost pulls off a weak story but it falls short. Towards the end, I was just hoping that the movie would not focus on his story but on Rawal/Naval or Suri/Chopra.

The Sameer story (with Sanjay Suri and Tisca Chopra) was decent. Sanjay Suri does a fairly good job of portraying the responsible guy who’s been f***ed over because of no fault of his. He did a similar character in “Sorry Bhai” (which was a terrible movie). Tisca is very good. I have to say that she did not make too much of an impression on me in “Taare Zameen Par” but her portrayal in this movie was very believable and likable.

The Mehndi girl story was ok; it could have been so much better … in terms of story, acting and the final outcome.

The last storyof the 5 guys running around for the gun - now, that was the disastrous part about the movie. I kept on thinking aloud - “Now what are these 5 morons doing? Would someone please shoot them?” That whole episode should have been re-written or omitted.

I came out of the movie feeling a little disappointed but that does not take away from the fact that the direction was excellent, the idea was original and creative, the acting was great and that the movie was subtle and emotionally complex. A great directorial debut for Nandita Das (I only found out that she was the director after the movie). I will see her next film.

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