Starring Vijay Raaz and Manu Rishi in lead roles,
advocates peace and is stoutly 'anti-war'. The partition of India is the crux of the film.
Here's a film where all you see is just four faces - Manu Rishi (playing Samarth Pratap, a cook attached to an Indian army unit posted at the border), Vijay Raaz (Rehmat Ali, a Pakistani soldier), Rajendranath Zutshi (Barfi Singh, a postman working for the Indian army) and Vishwajeet Pradhan (a captain with the Pakistani Army). But the film leaves an impact.
Many films have been made in the past that have dealt with the subject with great sensitivity (Deepa Mehta's Earth, Govind Nahaliani's TV series Tamas). There have also been films full of jingoism and melodrama.
But Kya Dilli Kya Lahore does better – it marries sensitivity with bits of angst and melodrama, when required.
The film begins with Jawaharlal Nehru's famous Tryst with Destiny speech even as the visuals move from the tricolour to the Partition massacre. The year is 1948.
crosses over to the Indian side, where Manu Rishi is posted, to steal a file about a tunnel being built by Indians from Red Fort (Delhi) to Lahore. Fearing that the Indians will attack Lahore, a Pakistani captain sends Vijay to find the map showing details of the tunnel.
As the film unfolds, we get to know the differences and similarities between two. Rehmat Ali is a Muslim who migrated from Delhi to Lahore during Partition while Samarth, a Hindu, has migrated from Lahore to Delhi. In the course of the film, audience is told of the humiliation Rehmat and Samarth are subjected to as they become 'refugees' in their new homelands.