Fir Questions ?
Films based on Communal Riots have always been hard hitting or soul touching. Some of the best films based on Communal riots are Garam Hawa, Bombay, Amu, 1947 Earth, Pinjar and Parzania along with many more. It’s not easy to make a film with communal riots as backdrop, you have to be particular to the facts, along with the message you want to portray. Nandita Das brings you another tale with communal riots as backdrop, but will she convey the hard hitting or soul touching message as the other films managed to do? Let’s find out.
“Firaaq” is a story of few people who were directly or indirectly victimized or were part of the communal riots which took place few years back in Gujarat. We have a story of male chauvinist Sanjay Bhai [Paresh Rawal]and his wife [Deepti Naval]. Sameer Sheikh [Sanjay Suri] a businessman and his wife Anuradha [Tisca Chopra]. Khan Sahib [Naseerudin Shah] a musician and his assistant [Raghuvir Yadav] along with Muneera [Shahana Goswami] and her husband. All these are connected with each other at some or another time. Also a story of Mohsin a small orphan kid in search of his dead father keeps connecting with the main characters.
Story is good but lacks the conviction one does need in such films. Also majority of scenes have been directly lifted from the Documentary “Final Solution” based on the same issue with more reality and hard hitting scenes. Few of the best scenes belong to the documentary. Still despite that the screenplay in first half is interesting and has loads of good performance based scenes. The opening scene of the film is too hard hitting and touching. But sadly the climax is abrupt and half baked. Background music is good and is as per flow of the film. Camera work is very good.
Nandita Das is a good actor and deserves full marks for pulling out some great performance.Tough she has to know that all actors can’t be good director. Her way of treating the subject is good but not as per the demand of the subject. We can feel the pain, sorrow, shame and sorry in the documentary, but out here besides few scenes it does not come. Though those few scenes were fantastic, just wished they were more [Check out the anti climax scenes]. We also know she has done more of meaningful films and films made for film festival, maybe it’s the same reason she must have selected such an abrupt and unsatisfied ending to this film. One does want to know more, but hey the film is over. You will feel bad for all the fantastic performances getting half baked treatment.
Performances by almost all actors were good, but many looses out thanks to their small or half baked character. Naseerudin Shah, Raghuvir Yadav, Sumeet Raghvan and Paresh Rawal belong in this category. Sanjay Suri’s character is too down to earth and soul touching and has done fantastic job. He is supported brilliantly by Tisca Chopra. Shahana Goswami delivers a natural performance with superb dialect. Dipti Naval has delivered one of her best performance and deserve to be applauded. Mohd Samad as the kid has delivered the innocence and pain with his expressions. Nasir in small role was good, wanted more of him.
So bol meri ‘Filmi Khopdi’ is film mein kitna hain dum?
Dum hain, kaafi achi performances hain, but sadly due to bad climax the film misses its punch. You do leave the cinema hall with the feeling of knowing more and plenty of unanswered questions. But despite all these still worth a watch for good performances. Though on the hard hitting factor will recommend Parzania and Final Solution anytime better than this film.
Ratings : 2.75 / 5