Cast: Sharib Hashmi (Sunny aka Sukhwinder Arora), Inaamulhaq (Aftaab), Kumud Mishra (Mehmood), Gopal Dutt (Jawaad), Saroj Sharma
Direction: Nitin Kakkar
Production: Shyam Shroff, Balkrishna Shroff, Subhash Chaudhary, Shaila Tanna, Siddharth Roy Kapur
Story: Nitin Kakkar
Screenplay: Nitin Kakkar, Sharib Hashmi
Editor: Sachindra Vats
Cinematography: Subhrasnsu Das
Music: Arijit Datta
Studio: Satellite Pictures Private Limited
Release Date: 6th June, 2014
Duration: 1 hours 57 minutes
Filmistaan, a film by Nitin Kakkar (his debut film), a tribute to Film Industry for its completion of 100 years of cinema. Before its official release on 6th June, 2014, it has won many accolades and awards during various cine festivals (Refer a subheading ‘Awards’ towards the end of this review). Partition could just divide the land, but people’s hearts still remain united. People across the border love watching Bollywood films, it is a great source of entertainment for them. People appreciate the work of artists irrespective of their nationality, rather the fans exist everywhere. Essence of this movie is that a film, its characters, overall this form of art can spread love amongst people, can remove the fences. Nitin has highlighted Indo-Pak cross-border issues but he also projects that people still feel connected with one another. Will we ever get back our old days of togetherness?
The movie begins with an aspiring Bollywood actor Sunny aka Sukhwinder Arora’s (Sharib Hashmi) audition for a chocolate advertisement. Although Sunny is not able to get through audition, he gets an opportunity to be an assistant director for an American film crew shooting a documentary in Rajasthan (Indo-Pak Border), for which he travels outdoor along with them. A militant group mistakenly kidnaps Sunny instead of Americans, and make him hostage in a small village in Pakistan in Aftaab’s (Inaamuihaq) house. Aftaab, a peddler of pirated DVDs, is a great movie buff, who dreams of making his own film one-day. Aftaab and Sunny hit it off instantly due to common thread between them – Bollywood Movies. Even amidst crisis and gun-toting terrorists around, Sunny’s love for cinema remains intact. He does not lose his sense of humour. He entertains children with his mimicking various artists. He is passionate about his camera (which was with him when he was kidnapped).
The mood of the movie never gets grim in spite of the unfavourable situations. The scene where Sunny directs his own ransom video, and insists upon multiple takes is just hilarious. Another scene, where Aftaab does a screening of Maine Pyar Kiya for the villagers, a segment comes where no audio is there due to poor quality of that pirated DVD. Sunny rattles off those lines effortlessly, a very enjoyable scene. It is so touching to watch the camaraderie between Sunny and Aftaab.
What all events unfold? Is Sunny ever able to come back to India? To what extent Aftaab and Sunny bond? Is Sunny able to make a bond with militants as well? Which one amongst the two win – love or hatred / anger? Does love take precedence over hatred?
Both Sharib and Inaamulhaq have given brilliant, simple, natural and endearing performances.
I just felt that the end could have been clearer. But yes definitely, this movie deserves your watch.
Year 2012: Busan International Film Festival (South Korea) – Special Jury Mention
Year 2012: International Film Festival of Kerala (India) – The Silver Crow Pheasant Award for the Best Debut Film
Year 2012: Delhi International Film Festival (India) – Best Feature Film, Indian Showcase
Year 2013: Jaipur International Film Festival – Best Debut Director and Best Upcoming Feature Film
Year 2012: 60th National Film Awards (India) – National Film Award for the Best Feature Film in Hindi
Year 2013: 10th Indian Film Festival Stuttgart (Germany) – German Start of India
Filimistaan, celebrates 100 years of cinema in a unique / sensitive way by making us re-think to get away with the fences. It depicts Indo-Pak differences withering away and sharing a common passion towards Indian Films. A good watch.
Rating: 3 / 5 (Good)