FIRAAQ (2008)

Posted: April 15, 2013 in Hindi films

The film directed by Nandita Das attempts to capture the darkness that engulfed Gujarat in 2002. Through a motley group of affected characters, the director builds the narrative. A small boy who survives an attack is in quest of shelter, a housewife (Deepti Naval) who tried to help the small boy but was unable to do much owing to her merciless husband (Paresh Rawal), a musician (Naseerudddin Shah) is in grief and discovers that certain structures has simply disappeared from his city, and a Muslim youth (Sanjay Suri) questions his identity and confabulates with his Hindu wife (Tisca Chopra) about forsaking the riot hit city and shifting to Delhi. firaaq3

The director has managed to capture the ‘Fear over the city’ atmosphere quite well.  The affected minority community has been portrayed in a good light. For example, even after a month of the carnage – the starting point of this narrative, Sanjay Suri is shown to donate money generously for a Hindu temple unhesitatingly. Hindus have been blackened, and there are scenes where someone is showing pelting rock slabs from the balcony on a resting Muslim fleeing from the tormentor cops. firaaq

The film is too one-sided and therein lies its weakness. The complicity of the State especially of biased cops is highlighted throughout the film. A dispassionate analysis of what led to this riot, why suddenly the State was in flames would have helped a neutral viewer to form conclusions.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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