Direction/Story: Nitin Kakkar
Actors: Sharib Hashmi, Inaamulhaq, Kumud Mishra, Gopal Dutt, Waseem Khan, Saroj Sharma, Tushar Jha, Sanjay Mehta, Ravi Bhushan
Screenplay: Nitin Kakkar, Sharib Hashmi
Awards: National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi
Filmistaan is a beautiful take on the ever disputed Indo-Pak relations. The protagonist Sunny Arora (Sharib Hashmi) is a die-hard bhakt of Bollywood and wants to become an actor. He is advised to become an Assistant Director as many of the super-stars started their careers the same way. His accidental kidnap by a group of Pakistani militants kick starts the journey that transcends borders.
The story never goes into the socio-political balance between the two countries. What it shows is the mango people on both sides of the border are the same. “Ghar, khana-peena, shaklein, sab same hai”, says Sunny. He makes friends with his captors and wins hearts of the village people where he is kept hostage. It is hilarious how he becomes friends with a Pakistani (Inaamulhaq) who makes pirated CDs of Hindi movies. It is astonishing how Nitin Kakkar uses Bollywood as the binding factor and comes up with such an enchanting story which has you laughing uncontrollably at some points, and moves you to tears at other points. The movie never falls into the over-emotional bhaichara zone. It is hilarious to see people from two sides of the border bonding together, thanks to Suraj Barjatiya’s Maine Pyaar Kiya.
The scene that touched me the most was where our hero Sunny listens to Reshma’s Ve Main Tere Naal and joins in with Lata’s Yaara Silli Silli which is the Indian version of the same tune.
The movie at no point shows any side to be completely dark. Even the captors are shown to be people, not complete villains. The fact that at the end of the day people still fail to understand the logic behind partition of the two nations is emotionally touching. Hakim Chacha misses his pre-partition home in Amritsar just as Sunny’s Dadaji used to miss his home in Lahore. Die-hard fans of cricket can be found in both the countries.
The director and the actors deserve an huge round of applause for handling such a topic with simplicity and weaving it into an entertaining story in a time when a movie without any big star-cast or an item number has no chances to survive the weekend.
Must watch for the sake of true Bollywood deewangi which brings the two sides of the superficial border together.
Jai Cine“Ma” Ki!