Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Khuda Ke Liye // In the name of God

Khuda Ke Liye comes with the baggage of a thousand good reviews and various critic awards. Naturally, all this fawning makes me suspicious [I mean, Taare Zameen Par was good, but didn't floor me as everyone promised].

So I made no effort to see it till friends sort of bullied me one fine weekend. And as I saw the scenes unfold, my only thought (when I wasn't lost in the movie) was: Unbelievable!

--Can this really be Shoaib Mansoor's first directorial venture?
--Did I really remain glued to the TV for nearly 3 hours and not realize it?
--How on earth did they weave in every debate point, every angle there is on Islam and fundamentalism - and yet avoid turning into a hotch-potch, boring documentary?

Yes, Khuda ke Liye is every bit as beautiful as everyone's swearing it to be. Go see it!

The story revolves around two brothers who start off as a famous music-loving duo. But their paths diverge soon enough - Sarmad (Fawad Khan) turns fundamentalist under the strong influence of Maulana Tahiri (Rasheed Naz). Meanwhile, Mansoor (Shan) enrolls for music training in the United States and falls in love with his classmate, who's white and a US citizen.

Then 9/11 happens and you shudder wondering which of the various victims on-screen has the worst lot. That's all the story I am willing to tell you.

Casting is fabulous. First and foremost, Rasheed Naz mesmerizes in his villain's role - what a voice! His dialogue delivery will convince you about the power of words and the potency of brainwashing.

Both brothers deliver believable, moving performances as do Iman Ali and Austin Sayre, their better halves. No one hams, throws hysterics or overacts - and believe me, there was every opportunity to!

Nasseruddin Shah gives a superb monologue in his guest appearance act.

Shooting aesthetics and production quality are world-class; no wonder audiences across the world are watching.

Music is great / okay depending on what your taste is. The screenplay certainly uses it as an anchor in some parts - and I love the metaphorical scene where musicians from across the world join in on a song. A bit of we-shall-overcome hope variety, but that's fine by me!

Yes, there is some minor (direct) preaching in the movie - but as I agree with most of it (no, not all), that's fine by me too.

Few movies are must-see in my rating chart - this one makes it to the list effortlessly.


Quicksilver! said...

This is so well written!
I am going to watch the movie asap AND only because you speak so highly of it!

P:S: Isn't Shaan H.O.T!!;)

Anonymous said...

Do u have the DVD? I'm also gung ho to see it after your review! Sameera