Movie Review (2014)
Film: “Filmistaan”
Cast: Sharib Hashmi, Innamulhaq, Kumud Mishra, Gopal Datt
Director: Nitin Kakkar

Rating:


In a nutshell - SRK, Salman and company rule Pakistan. If not the 'sarzameen', then definitely their hearts and souls. Such is the crossover power of Bollywood. This movie dares to go to 'no man's' land, in between the physical and emotional boundaries that bind two great nations that politics tears apart with hatred. A place where only Bollywood runs in the bloodstream (maa kasam!).

Sunny (Sharib), an obsessive Bollywood addict, briefly abandons his acting aspirations and becomes an assistant director for an American crew shooting a documentary in Rajasthan (close to the Indo-Pak border). A terrorist group intending to kidnap the Amreekis mistakenly capture Sunny. He's held hostage in Pakistan, there he befriends Aftab (Innamulhaq) who makes a living out of selling pirated Bollywood movies. A 'Sholay'-like' undying brotherhood is born out of pure pyaar for Bollywood. But the boss of the terrorists Mehmood (Mishra - intense and electric) has differences of opinion with this so called 'infidel', even as he's baffled at his Bollywood bhakti.

Whether it's Sunny's naivete or nerve - he never loses hope (even as a dhai kilo ka haath lands on him, he says,"Mard ko dard nahin hota"), letting his filmigiri fuel his courage. Debut director Kakkar spins some remarkable moments when Sunny directs his own 'ransom' video with multiple retakes; his conversations with Mehmood over Tendulkar v/s Afridi followed by a wild victory dance. Sunny parroting Salman's dialogues from 'Maine Pyar Kiya', and his filmi impersonations of superstars and their iconic dialogues are hilarious.

In this National Award winning film, Kakkar subtly laces the scars of Indo-Pak hostility with humour and satire, while beautifully making way for all the malice to melt over undivided love for movies. It's slightly stretched in parts; Arijit Datta's music blends well. Sharib in a superlative act completely surrenders to the role and Innamulhaq piques the emotions with perfection. The camaraderie between the pure souls who understand only the language of Bollywood is heart-warming. Datt, with few dialogues, is deadly.

In a nation of star-worshippers, this film devoid of superstars brilliantly stands out. Aaj khush toh bahut hain hum! Ab bas, tareef pe tareef ...