Tuesday 24 March 2009

An Acknowledgement and Firaaq reviewed

A very touching thing happened today. My blog is usually an extension of my thoughts. I have been told that I dont talk much, but I usually have a lot to say. So I come here and write it all down. I blog as if talking to myself and dont think much on who will be reading this else I may start to craft my thoughts accordingly.

Thus, its always a complement when someone tells me that they read my blog and enjoy it. A similar thing happened today. My friend Gloria started blogging after a long time again (here) and in her starting blog, wrote the following:

"....But before I begin, like all great works of art, an acknowledgement is due … so I would definitely like to thank Larry Page and Sergey Brin for creating Google, without which the world would not have been what it is today; a heartfelt thanks to all the inspiring blogs that I have read and not commented on, thanks to the infectious lazy bug being alive then (right now its hibernating!), my dear friend Harnoor and her passion for writing, movies and food that makes me feel there is much more to life than being bound by the daily schedules (I have not commented on your blogs either, but I do read them sweety!!)...."

Glo, thanks - you made my day...and next time, leave a comment here too :)!!

Coming back to this post, this weekend we decided to go see Firaaq, the directorial debut of Nandita Das. It wasnt an easy decision going for it. The Gujarat riots are not one of my favourite topics and being in Ahmedabad to witness them, they left me very deeply affected. Its also a topic I usually avoid discussing because if you were not there, then you can not possibly understand those times (one of the few times I talked is on this other post). You can not understand the fear of waiting on the terrace of your penthouse all night, watching crowds pass downstairs with mashaals and praying to god that they dont come up...and if they did, thinking of which loft you would hide in or what name would you say for yourself because "Harnoor" happens to be an urdu name. Mob mentality may be easy to imagine but you can not even comprehend how and why most educated people like you and me living in the city supported the riots and hailed Modi for being the hero of 'Hindu' dharam (let me not even go there). So, in short, if you werent there, dont judge my reaction to them either.

So after all these years of avoiding movies made on the Gujarat riots like Parzaania and others, I finally decided to face it and agreed to watch Firaaq. Unfortunately, the movie let me down.

The film thankfully doesn't focus on the riots but on the days following them. Nandita has done her research well and most of the emotions or instances shown do reflect the reality of those times. The fact that there were no vegetables to buy for a week and a vegetable seller would hide and open a stall for a few hours inside a colony, all schools being shut for a month, well to do families taking part in the madness by looting stores like Pantaloons and filling their honda cities with clothes...a lot of it was true.

The movie may be criticised as one that shows only one side of the story and being very pro-muslim. This may be true but I would say that a majority of the madness was one sided. Nevertheless, it would have helped to show both the sides of the coin.

The actors themselves have done a great job. Nasseruddin Shah was great as was the actress who played Arjun Rampal's wife in Rock On (cant remember her name). She is turning out to be a great actress and one we should look forward to.

Though the movie was very serious, it did not cut the ice. It was more like a documentary but did not manage to involve the audience. There were many stories out together but they did not seem to fit into one big picture. Dont get me wrong, it wasnt bad, but it did not fulfill. You know, when you want to have a hot chocolate fudge from Nirulas and have to make do with some chocolate ice cream? Its not that its bad, but it just doesnt satisfy you.

Rating: 2.5 on 5

1 comment:

Gloria said...

Thank you babes..!! u did inspire me to write .. so the acknowledgement was due...! and I do look forward to reading new posts on your blog.. its one of my fav :)