Two points of view to one subject
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Two points of view to one subject

DAY 6: One film was a subtle story of a real problem, the other had a real problem with a subtle story. Read on to know about Day 6 films.

entertainment Updated: Oct 29, 2010 17:03 IST
Hindustan Times

Film: Harud (Autumn)
Director: Aamir Bashir

Sourav Pattnaik

When you come across a film based on Kashmir, the initial expectations would circle around terrorism and the cross border war scenario. Well, here is a film that shows you no bomb blasts, yet teaches you about Kashmir unlike any other. The film is set in the autumn season in a remote village in Kashmir. Aamir Bashir describes the village as one that would make for a tiny news story if a bomb were ever to explode there. Harud is the story of ‘this kind of Kashmir’.

Aamir BashirThe film touches upon all issues surrounding Kashmir. The treatment of the subject is well done, keeping the context raunchy and real along with some day to day humour. Hearing the Kashmiri youth refer to it as ‘hell’ is an eye opener for those who thought Kashmir was still the heaven on earth. Another comparison has been made with a sheep that is going to be sacrificed on Eid. Kashmir, like that sheep, in world politics is waiting for an appropriate ‘Eid’ to arrive! The viewer-character connection builds up gradually, thanks to the vivid characterisation of the protagonist.

Harud’s end would strike the emptiness and solitude within a sensitive viewer who is left with the same feeling, that of a Kashmiri at the end of the film. Lacking any background score, keeping the city’s soundscape beautifully intact, Bashir tries to keep the story as real as possible. Referring to an anecdote my professor shared with me once: "Realism is a disease that few directors crave to be cured from!" And it has, I must say, infected film makers to quite an extent. Harud definitely suffers from this disease, but does recover itself by speaking about the sensitive Kashmiris using apt metaphors and good actors.

The writer is part of the Mumbai Film Festival's (MAMI) Young Critics’ Programme, an initiative of HT Cafe

Film: Ayla
Director: Su Turhan

Peter Simon

Ayla is the story of a young, beautiful, self-confident and rebellious Turkish-Muslim woman in Germany. After a series of unforeseen circumstances, Alya finds herself giving shelter to a woman, who happens to be the sister of a man who Alya thinks is right for her. But soon she discovers that he too is involved in a murderous plan to restore his family’s honour, for which he needs to convince his sister to return to her husband who she has left in Turkey.

Ayla is the debut feature of the ‘self-taught’ Turko-German director Su Turhan. There are no words to describe the repulsion felt during this film. What made anyone think that this movie was worth selecting to run in the international competition is beyond one’s comprehension. There are claims that the movie deals with subjects like the disenfranchisement of Turkish-Muslim women, the clashes of ideology and culture for Turks who are Germans too, the trappings of a close knit society with no particular acceptance of other cultures etc. But anyone who has seen enough movies on the subject will know that this is not true.

It is nothing but a surface level plot-based narration of one man’s skewed idea of everything. It was like having to watch a terrible Bollywood movie while stuck travelling on a bus. My heart sunk with each line of terrible dialogue between the protagonists and the overbearing string instrument that whined at the background. Ayla seems like what we call in India, ‘masala fare’. Just because you put a character in a situation you want to discuss, does not mean the message will transfer itself. The movie was bad. There is no cinema waiting to happen on this one.

The writer is part of the Mumbai Film Festival's (MAMI) Young Critics’ Programme, an initiative of HT Cafe

First Published: Oct 29, 2010 15:25 IST