Filmistaan

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A refreshingly and humorously simple film about a friendship forged into a cast iron bond by a shared love for Indian Cinema. A bond between An Indian and a Pakistani.

Sunny-a struggling Indian actor, who is an Assistant Director for a film shoot in Rajasthan. A smooth talker and a personality steeped in Hindi films, he is never without a quick filmy riposte to suit any situation (he helps his kidnappers record and directs his own ransom film and is willing to be slapped and beaten up, but will not let anyone harm his camera-such is his passion for the movies :)).

He gets kidnapped by militants, erroneously in place of the Americans who are making the film. They decide to keep him captive in a Pakistani village while they make a second attempt at the Americans. A barbed wire across the border is not enough of a barrier to hold Sunny back from bonding with the rest of the village and the militants guarding him too. He enthralls the village with his histrionics -Sunny Deol one moment and Dilip Kumar in the next and irritates Mehmood Bhai (senior militant) with his constant chatter-specially on Tendulkar v/s Afridi.

He is kept in Aftaab’s house. Aftaab-who earns a living from selling pirated DVDs of films of all ratings and genres but Hindi films are as ingrained in him as they are in Sunny.

Like meets like. Yaari becomes imaan and one yaar decides to save the other’s zindagi…

A story of friendship and bonding and the fact that a border line on a map cannot take away from a certain “sameness” between India and Pakistan. The similarities of appearance, language, cuisine which make it difficult for Sunny to even realise he is in Pakistan. A glimpse of the shared trauma of partition for those who witnessed it and shared their stories of the “other” side which was once their own.

The best part is that one laughs ones way through the film, tempered as it is liberally and hilariously with references from Bollywood. It’s good cinema, sans the hysterics of a Cine Maa.

Sunny-Sharib Hashmi-Outstanding and spontaneous.  The sense of comic timing specially is effortless.

Aftaab-InaamulHaq is superb too and they make a great team on screen. Again, the sense of comic timing and repartee are terrific.

Kumud Mishra- is Mehmood Bhai the militant guarding Sunny. Simmering with irritation, his face and his goals firmly set on the work of god, he is amazing and unrecognisable from his role as Khatana in Rockstar.

Gopal Dutt as Jawaad-second militant is outstanding in his portrayal of regret at his chosen path and his stoic acceptance of his choices.

The four mentioned above,for  me at least are in the league of Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah ,Nawazuddin Siddiqui and their ilk, talent wise.

Beautifully, wittily and sensitively written and directed by Nitin Kakkar, Filmistaan won the National Award for Best Hindi Film in 2013.

Totally worth watching- Jai(Good) Cinemaa Ki!

Filmistaan

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