Producer: ASC Digital Private Limited
Director: Rakesh Parmar
Throw: Hyder Kazmi, Aleefya, Muzammil Bhawani, Bhavani Bashir Yasit, Rajesh Pal, Vishal Tiwari, Farooq Ahmed and Shujat Shabbat
Stream on: Mastani
By Jyothi Venkatesh
The most dangerous madmen are those created by religion! However, history is full of stories of jihadis (soldiers of the holy war) who at some point during their struggle for religion realize that they have made an extremely wrong decision. In Bhavna’s house, the widow of a doctor whom they once killed on suspicion of being an army informant, Altaaf (Hyder Kazmi) undergoes a metamorphosis and realizes that the real meaning of jihad is not the holy war outside, but the war in itself and although it is too late, he is convinced that firearms can give death, not life! And jihad is nothing more than overpowering the inner devil that is actually lurking within you.
It was shot in sensitive arenas in Kashmir such as Kupwara, Charari Sharif, Doodh Ganga and Yusmarg, where not a single film has yet been made extensively. The wounds inflicted by the Indian army in Kashmir are still fresh in memory after several years when Altaaf joins the terrorist group with the pious idea of exterminating the enemies of Islam. Little does Altaf know that he, for his part, was gullible into the trap of people with self-interest and wrong ideas.
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The film is about how he goes through a 360-degree transformation when Altaaf meets Bhavna (Alfeeya), the pretty widow of a doctor whom they once killed on suspicion of being an army informant. While hiding in Bhavna’s house, Altaaf goes through a strange, inexplicable metamorphosis as he witnesses Bhavna’s distress and helplessness. The film ends on a not-so-positive note, even as it drives home, the subtle yet poignant message that jihad does not mean killing innocent people and anyone who uses jihad to kill innocent civilians should be for theirs Pay foolishness
In terms of performance, Hyder Kazmi, who also produced the sensitive film, delivers a well-chiseled performance as Altaf, blending effortlessly into the skin of his complex, multi-layered role. Alfeeya as the innocent widow Bhavana plays the perfect foil for him and although she is initially repelled by him, she gradually feels drawn to him when she realizes that he has a heart of gold.
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After war films like Bhuj amd Shershaah, the film is a sincere attempt by Hyder Kazmi who did not add any commercial ingredient to serve the lowest common denominator. Rakesh Parmar deserves kudos for making a complex subject like this, although I wish he’d edited it to make the movie smoother, as it every now and then loses footing as the plot keeps moving continues to meander. Ram Yadav’s camera is top notch, while Aman Shlok’s music hinders the continuity of the otherwise well-made film.