Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ramchand Pakistani (2008) - Hindi Cinema Review

Ranking: 2.5/5

Cast: Nandita Das,
Director: Mehreen Jabbar, Syed Fazel Hussain, Maria Wasti, Noman Ijaz
Music: Debatyoti Mishra

From the time the movie began and almost until more than half of the movie I kept expecting to see something very bad happen. Thankfully that was avoided and

it made the film watchable. If you are looking for pace and twist and turns then this is not the movie for you, but on the other hand if you are looking for

a one line story with simple narration and decent acting which at times can start becoming a drag then you might probably enjoy this movie. I have to

definitely commend the acting by all the cast members including the little boy playing Ramchand. The background score is simple and the locales where the

movie has been shot is rustic.

The story is about a Dalit family that lives on the border of India and Pakistan. The village is so small that even the luxury of watching TV or radio on a

daily basis is not available to everyone. Most of the villagers are living blissfully ignorant about a war ranging between the two countries. During these

troubled moments, a little kid after having a childish tiff with his mom accidently crosses the border from Pakistan and enters India. Promptly he is

abducted by the sepoys who are guarding the border. The child's father also wanders into the border to bring his son back also only to be abducted by the

Indian sepoys too.

Dad and son are in the Indian jail and the son sees the dad getting beaten and tortured to prove that he is not a spy. Both of them share a large room with

other criminals and those who are also falsely accused of being spies or such. The kids goes through a transformation and you can see the father trying his

best to keep his child innocent and far from the corruption that jail cells see. The child finds a caretaker in a lady cop who tries to give him the basics

whil keep him at a bay because of his caste.

My worst fear was that they might show some gruesome scenes (like what you saw in Chandini Bar) with the kid and I kept trying to look away but thank god the

director sheilded us from all those kind of information. Do the kid, his dad and mom get united? For that you will have to watch the movie.

The acting in the movie is impeccable, it is truly an art movie and not for the ones who crave commercial masala. The story like I said earlier is slow and you need a lot of motivation to watch it. I even stopped to wonder what the purpose of the movie is, considering there is nothing dramatic or drastic in the movie after the first 10 minutes. It is like a movie that was shot on a webcam placed on the boy and then edited to consolidate four years into 2.5 hours. I am not impressed with it but it can definitely be seen once when you have absolutely nothing better to do.

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