#65 #Scriptors100BestFilms #Filmistaan

“Cinema is universal. Beyond flags, borders and passports” – Alejandro González Iñárritu ( Academy Winner Director )

In our nation, if someone has to name two things that every Indian acclaims, that would be patriotism and CineMaa (cinema). And Filmistaan is a perfect blend of love for the nation and the movies shown by its protagonist Sunny. The movie is seemingly about a Bollywood fan for all the Bollywood fans, but a scrupulous attention will make you believe that the script has used CineMaa as a bridge to connect hearts of people who live across a long disputed India-Pakistan border. Bollywood has produced a lot other movies based on Indo-Pak border and relationship, but this one has its own uniqueness.

Sunny (Sharib Hashmi) who has only one dream in life-Bollywood, is one of the thousands of struggling actors in Mumbai. Unable to get a break and pay his bills, he takes a job of assistant director and went for a shoot in Rajasthan near India-Pakistan border. Mistaken for an American media personnel, he was kidnapped by a group of terrorist in the dark, and wakes up to find himself in Pakistan. After realizing they have no choice but to keep him hostage, terrorists house arrest him in a village at a local’s residence. Later Sunny met Aftaab (Inaamulhaq) who is the son of the house owner where he was held captive. Aftaab pirates Hindi film DVDs from India across border. Sharing common interest of love for Bollywood, soon they became close friends. Aftaab promises Sunny that he will help him to cross the border and go back to India.

The movie is loaded with many heart touching scenes which will make every Indian and Pakistani think that why we need borders across nations. In the second hour a scene where a local doctor, while dressing Sunny’s wound, tell him that he migrated to Pakistan after partition and still miss his home town Amritsar (India); thereon Sunny tells that his dead grandfather’s last wish was to visit his birthplace in Lahore (Pakistan). This scene can make many Indians and Pakistanis eyes wet. Sunny’s character who loves Bollywood is a very nice and humorous guy. In Pakistan, he makes everyone laugh and tries to keep them happy despite of the fact that he was a hostage, in a country that has animosity towards his own nation. One night when Aftaab played a Bollywood movie on TV which has missing soundtrack for a scene in the climax, Sunny recite all the dialogues for the villagers watching it. A very charming scene written by Nitin Kakkar to show how big a Bollywood buff he is.

Though every actor in this movie has done a wonderful job and made his character look so real, but Sharib Hashmi steals the show by his power pack performance. It won’t be wrong to say that the whole cast and crew together made this movie so wonderful. A story with perfect mix of patriotism and Bollywood by Nitin Kakkar, wonderful screenplay and dialogues by Nitin Kakkar and Sharib Hashmi, great job in editing by Sachindra Vats to keep it less than 2 hours and crisp, and capturing wonderful location of Rajasthan by Cinematographer Subhransu Das, all of them together made it a enjoyable and unforgettable film.

One part which this movie was missing is its final scene of Sunny and Aftaab crossing border. Did they ever make it? The answer to this question remains obscure. Though the voices of Jawahar Lal Nehru and Jinna in the backdrop of those scenes makes it a masterpiece.  Art or Cinema brings people together while politics separates them and creates borders. It was a “Love Story” to me – Love story between Cinema and its lovers and among cinema lovers.

Full of laughter and emotions this movie was nominated for 10 different categories in national and international film festival, and it bagged 5 awards for story, direction and feature film. A must watch not only for Bollywood fans but for all those people across border who always wonder, why borders!?

Siddharth Jain
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