Saturday, January 10, 2009

Aamir – the antithesis of a Jihadi

The first thing that came to my mind as the credits rolled on the movie ‘Aamir’ was ‘When? Oh when will my beloved Kannada movie makers make films like these? When will they get their money hungry heads out of their ignorant behinds with meaningless overcooked clichés and start making cinema that people can actually relate with?’

I had heard a lot about this movie. But somehow, never got around to seeing it. And what a time to watch it too! After having seen an interesting version of Mumbai in ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, here was yet another version of watching Mumbai bare itself unashamedly. What got me even more curious was that the whole crew of ‘Aamir’ was practically unknown and given the rave reviews it had been getting, I decided to take a chance. And boy! Am I glad I did!

‘Aamir’ is a story of Dr. Aamir Ali who returns from London to his home in Mumbai only to find that someone has kidnapped his entire family. All he has are clues given by an unknown face and cellular phone cues that take him to a mirage of places that are simmering with lower middle class Muslims. He finds himself face to face with a society he had never seen before yet all the time doing what he is being told in order to save his family. At the end of the day he finds himself sitting on a bus with a suitcase that he has been told contains a bomb. He is then told to get off the bus at the next traffic light leaving the suitcase behind.

This is as far as I want to tell you since the final few minutes of the movie are a revelation. I wouldn’t go as far as to say I was completely taken aback by it or wasn’t expecting it to happen, but the conviction with which a normal regular common man steps from those shadows of cowardice and attempts to personify his name ‘Aamir’ – a leader – was what I found most endearing. For a first time director, Raj Kumar Gupta surely treads a risky path as he tackles a burning issue in India head on. He enforces the ideologies that are so often taken for granted and makes the protagonist finally attempt the perfect antithesis of terror and a terrorist.

I must say, it was quite a show. The movie albeit, is slow in parts and could have used some faster reactions from the leading man and some chop offs here and there, but these are trivialities when compared to the message the movie attempts to send across. I recommend everyone to watch ‘Aamir’, as such ‘in the face’ almost surreal seeming plots very rarely make for a good viewing.

Looking forward to Kannada movie makers take a leaf from such cinema and attempt something which finally addresses some real issues.


Here is a teaser of the film.

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