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Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019

Unfreedom movie review: Once banned, now released from its prison by Netflix

Unfreedom movie review: Director Raj Amit Kumar’s convoluted film favours nudity over its poignant themes.

movie-reviews Updated: Apr 14, 2018 15:10 IST
Unfreedom had been banned in India, a fact that the producers used to advertise it.
Unfreedom had been banned in India, a fact that the producers used to advertise it.

Director: Raj Amit Kumar
Cast: Adil Hussain, Victor Banerjee
Rating: 1.5/5

Communal hatred, terrorism, religious restrictions and the societal hindrances in exercising one’s freedom — these are all potential topics for sensitive, serious and gripping cinema. Unfortunately, Unfreedom gets overwhelmed by the pressure and ends up being a chaotic piece of work that fails to bring home any of the messages it aims to deliver.

Unfreedom, Raj Amit Kumar’s first feature film, was banned in India, but it is now available on Netflix. For a film that claimed to be the voice of sexual liberty and freedom, it’s a major let down.

The film narrates two parallel and unrelated stories — one is about a girl’s struggle with her own dad to practice her own sexual choices while the other traces the tussle between a Muslim terrorist and a liberal Muslim. Director-writer Raj must be lauded for his intentions and courage.

Addressing the atrocities deeply embedded in hardline practices of both Hinduism and Islam, Raj ensures his film is not labelled as biased against a certain community, and is viewed in consideration of the religious violence, the suppression of choices and the rampant homophobia in our society.

With actors Adil Hussain and Victor Banerjee, Raj has good support in terms of convincing performances. However, the confused non-linear narrative obscures all efforts and renders them ineffective.

Hazily written characters, sloppy narrative and oft-forced nudity further kill the movie’s poignant themes. It keeps going back and forth both chronologically and geographically and you are left wondering about the sequence of events.

This is a movie you can totally skip.

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The author tweets @SwetaKaushal