Monday, May 5, 2014

Kya Dilli Kya Lahore- Movie Review

This isn't your commercial pot boiler of a film, that speaks of our barbed borders. It doesn't have a heroine running around the trees with a hero (playing an army man), both of who are eagerly waiting to hear the wedding bells ring. It doesn't have tanks treading around the war paths, or bombs creating a light and sound effect that will bombard your ears with a real time feel of the war rigged borders.


It is a simple story that is told by four characters. The story opens with a thirsty Vishwajeet Pradhan, a pakistani officer begging for a little water and a visibly shaken Vijay Raaz helping him with his bottle of water. As he is forced to hop over the border in search of a file, he comes face to face, with the realities of life. Across the other end, he meets a timid cook, Manu Rishi who is holed in a log cabin, as the other members of his team have been shot dead. All he has for company is a radio, that is dispelling his fears by playing him spirited messages, and a rifle and few bullets, and of course potatoes and wheat for the bloated belly.




What follows is a heated exchange of volleys both verbal and with arms in the first forty five minutes of the movie. It is also amusing to see Raaz push the limits off Rishi and make him take up the arms, which he thought was not expected of a shy cook.

The second half takes you to the streets of Lahore and Delhi, when each of them look back on the days spent in their homes, those that they weren't theirs in present times, all because of the curse of partition.

Raaz talking of Chandni Chowk's korma and Rishi thinking of Lahore's lassi are poetically rendered dialogues, that brings tears into the eyes.

Both of them are torn by the fact, that their new homes aren't theirs and Raaz particularly sums it up beautifully when he says that the moon in Lahore wasn't his, as was the moon that rested in the skies of Delhi.

While they both try to name their losses, they are shown to be tightly holding on to patriotism for their countries, although unsure of which one is theirs.

The story of the film was spun with care, with elements of surprise and even comedy thrown in. It isn't easy to write a script that has just four characters, and this was a job well done.

The dialogues weren't just small talk between a pakistani and an Indian, they were both dramatic as well as poetic.

Both Rishi and Raaz have played their part well. Rishi is a wonderful actor who has great potential, and shows promise. So have Pradhan and Zutshi, who have thrown in elements of negativity and wonderment. 

There weren't any battle fields to say the least, all you can see is a log cabin and bunker. And the unkempt backyard of the wooden house where Rishi had taken refuge. 

There were no tankers or missiles, just a few gun shots and that was good enough to tell you that this was a war movie.

The director has done a wonderful job by tapping the talents in the best possible manner, without too much money thrown in to create a war drama.

The music was beautiful, although jarring in a few places. The lyrics shall stay nestled in your soul for a long while. Gulzar sahab's poetry makes you wonder, were those borders really drawn to separate people. Why can't we play Kabbadi and forget that those lines drawn in anger, ever existed?


It isn't one of those run-of-the-mill war dramas that had all the elements of a typical commercial pot boiler thrown in. It's a high concept renidition of wars and the politics played over it, that has tried to spell the suffering of real people torn by it.



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