Mulk movie review: Rishi Kapoor’s film is a powerful tale, poorly told
Director - Anubhav Sinha
Cast - Rishi Kapoor, Ashutosh Rana, Rajat Kapoor, Taapsee Pannu
Rating - 3/5
Mulk is a film you really want to like. It is an important film in a disturbing time; a voice of reason in chaos. It has strong performances — Rishi Kapoor as Murad Ali Mohammed, a Muslim patriarch fighting for the dignity of his family; Taapsee Pannu as Aarti Malhotra, Murad’s daughter-in-law, who argues their case in court; Rajat Kapoor as an anti-terror cop.
It attacks Islamophobia by arguing against the common prejudices. It counters propaganda of hate efficiently with facts and emotion. It is also true to its context. The sets of the film don’t lie. The police stations, courtrooms and streets transport you small-town Uttar Pradesh.
But there is a crucial element of storytelling missing — surprise. In this 140-minute courtroom drama set in Varanasi, every situation seems to have been engineered to say the ‘right’ things. And there’s nothing you haven’t heard before.
Like a lot of stories burdened with a purpose, Mulk is a slow starter. It takes us to the mansion of a Muslim family in Varanasi, ahead of a party. The characters are introduced with humour and warmth in an attempt to make them endearing, but despite the acting prowess of Kapoor and Neena Gupta, who plays his wife, the script gives them and us little to work with.
Scenes like that of a Hindu neighbour who likes to try non-veg dishes when visiting, intended to be funny, fall flat and contrived.
The narrative gathers pace and flesh in the courtroom. Ashutosh Rana plays an Islamophobic public prosecutor to perfection and you’re on the edge of your seat with apprehension as he makes his opening statement. Pannu and Kapoor arguing on behalf of the family are strong too.
This film takes an important step in defining terrorism and underlining the differences between a suspect and a criminal. It succeeds in intent and purpose, but sadly fails when it comes to storytelling.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- Nawazuddin Siddiqui's wife Aaliya has said that she is willing to restart life with the actor after seeing his caring side for the last few days.
- Ahead of the release of Roohi, Janhvi Kapoor talked about why she did not use her mother Sridevi's ChaalBaaz as a reference point, facing criticism from a young age and her upcoming projects.
- Videos of Shraddha Kapoor dancing at her cousin Priyaank Sharma's wedding in the Maldives are going viral on the internet.
- Alia Bhatt was seen in a bridal avatar in her new advertisement. Fans loved it and wished to see her get married in real life too. She is in a relationship with Ranbir Kapoor.
- Anil Kapoor joked that Jackie Shroff has threatened to slap him multiple times unless he confirms a film together. The two have starred in 12 films together, till date.
- Mika Singh talked about marriage on Indian Pro Music League. He said that he is the ‘only forever bachelor’ after Salman Khan and wishes to keep his tag for some time.
- Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli met in a rather unconventional manner, during an ad shoot. While she was confident, he was a 'jittery and nervous'. Read the rest of the story here.