Saturday, 5 April 2008

'Khuda ke Liye' released: After four decades a Pakistani movie screened in India, audience laud sensitive film

Shoaib Mansoor's internationally acclaimed movie Khuda ke Liye became the first movie from Pakistan to be released in India after a gap over forty years.

The thought-provoking movie 'In the name of God' deals with the dilemmas of Muslims in the wake of 9/11 and the International War on Terror.

The film succeeds not just because it depicts the trauma of Muslims who are often viewed with suspicion and branded fundamentalists but also because it asks tough questions and forces Muslims to introspect as well.

On one hand it is the liberal father who has no compunction in having a live-in relationship but doesn't want his daughter to marry a Christian and forces her back to the ancestral town in Afghanistan.

And on the other hand there is the story of the man who is wrongly arrested in United States of America (USA) and the police keep him in detention, just because he is a Muslim.

The liberals feel marginalised as they are mocked at by fundamentalists. The latter have their own grievances. But the movie does portray well the complex emotions. Is singing un-Islamic? It targets the stereotype of Muslims--the man wearing skullcap and the kurta-pyjama.

The previews of the film had all been quite positive. The film had been released in Pakistan long back and owing to reviews it was awaited. Shaan and Iman Ali, the lead actor and actress, have done well, apart from Naseeruddin Shah's role.

For the sub-continent, this release is historic. After 43 years an Urdu movie from across the border has been released in India.

The two nations have similar set of problems and this cultural exchange will help citizens of both countries in understanding each other. Recently a couple of Bollywood films including Taare Zameen Par were screened in theatres in Pakistan.

Though its a serious movie and Khuda ke Liye may not become a blockbuster on lines of other song-and-dance movies we are used to watching, it will hopefully attract the cine-watchers for venturing into a tough territory and touching a bold subject. Link to the website of the movie In the Name of God.

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