Going for a new movie is like taking a crash course on the subject. It will give you a new perspective, a lookout and great insights.
To be honest, watching movies is the most secular thing we do as Indians, it is a common practice throughout the country, and we all love it equally. Our stars are treated like gods, and some of them later become gods, too (no pun intended).
When I watched the trailer of Mulk, I was sure I am going to watch this movie. I always love courtroom dramas: they have some of the best dialogues, sarcasm flows better in front of judges, and you know you will get something good out of it. And, unless your name is Salman Khan or Sanjay Dutt, you are not very much familiar of courtrooms until you see it in movies.
Mulk is on the same lines as Jolly LLB series, Pink, and Court. Our industry is putting a lot of effort into making courtrooms more real and arguments more connecting. Kudos to them for giving us better and more realistic content. There is no ‘Tareekh Par Tareekh’ anymore.
Mulk, as the trailer says, gives you comprehensive questions to ask yourself. It has two of the most important questions India is facing right now. It talks about upbringing — how much we should take care of our next generation. An oversight, a little ignorance from the family and your child might do something so wrong that it haunts your whole family. This is brilliantly portrayed through the plot. In the first hour itself, you realise why we are struggling as a country, and our generation is going towards extremes. As the saying goes ‘ati sarvasya vargiyate’ (Excess of anything is bad).
The movie is about religious prejudices. And, when you have to portray that beautifully, what another place to pick than Varanasi. The first scene itself sets up the mood for the film: lovely Hindu neighbourhood, with chai pe charcha (discussion over tea) in the dim lighting of early mornings. To add more cliched content, we will put mandir ka ghanta (the temple’s bell) — aazan on the loudspeaker getting louder, a newspaperman circulating newspapers in the overly crowded busy streets. If one thing every movie buff would agree to here is, Bollywood knows how to create Indian hustle-bustle very well.
You see a lot of bhaichara (a brotherly relationship) in the first sequence, so much so that you know things are going to be so wrong later. It is difficult to be clueless when you are watching a Bollywood movie shot in Varanasi or similar city on Hindu-Muslim conflict storyline. Delhi 6, Kai Po Che, Jolly LLB, Ranjhanaa I have seen all of this before, I will see all this again.
Mulk talks about a lot of issues, communal harmony is second and matters more, for that you must watch it the film.
Now, let’s talk about the most important part of the film, the star cast. This movie is powerful just because it has the right people in the right roles. Each one of them has given special performances. I can’t decide whom to pick as my favourite. We have seen Tapsee Pannu getting better with every movie. She was terrific before in a courtroom drama, but this time her role was more empowered, so is Rishi Kapoor — the older version is more powerful than the romantic Starkid from the past. A Muslim advocate who loves his country as much as I do, who saw his nephew converting into a terrorist and seeing his family getting traumatised and destroyed, Rishi Kapoor carried himself brilliantly.
The other Kapoor who did well is Rajat Kapoor. This guy knows his shit more than any other actor. Two actors who gave the most powerful performances, and made the movie better are Ashutosh Rana and Manoj Pahwa, both of them are veterans and the way they have involved themselves in character, they are added to my list of favourite actors. Ashutosh Rana is doing similar cinema for some time. If there is a Ramleela in town, he is sure to be Ravan all the time. Every time he comes on screen, you get something new, something more powerful. Nina Gupta, Kumud Mishra and Prachi Shah supported the main cast religiously and made the film wonderful.
Mulk is a powerful movie, it has superb dialogues throughout, the characters are charming, and as the cinema should work, this movie makes you ask yourselves the real questions. It would be foolish to miss out on this film.
Enjoy Mulk, because that is what we have got.