7.4/10
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24 user 13 critic

Firaaq (2008)

Not Rated | | Drama, History | 20 March 2009 (India)
Chronicles the devastating impact on vulnerable Muslims in Gujarat after riots.

Director:

Nandita Das

Writers:

Nandita Das (story), Shuchi Kothari (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Inaamulhaq ... Munna
Nassar ... Grave digger (as Nasser)
Shahana Goswami ... Muneera
Nawazuddin Siddiqui ... Hanif (as Nowaz)
Paresh Rawal ... Sanjay
Honey Chhaya Honey Chhaya ... Bapuji
Deepti Naval ... Arati
Dilip Joshi ... Deven
Kavan Antani Kavan Antani ... Arati's son
Naseeruddin Shah ... Khan Saheb
Raghuvir Yadav ... Karim
Sanjay Suri ... Sameer Shaikh
Tisca Chopra ... Anuradha Desai
Suchita Trivedi ... Ketki (as Sucheta Trivedi)
Pranav Subramaniya Pranav Subramaniya ... Ketki's son 1
Edit

Storyline

Following riots in Gujarat, Arati experiences guilt when she did not open her door to shelter an injured Muslim woman. Her husband, Sanjay, had looted merchandise from shops, and his brother, Devan, had even sexually molested Muslim women. A young lad, Mohsin, leaves the safety of an army-guarded camp to look for his father. Meanwhile Music maestro, Jahangir Khan, faces isolation. Sameer Shaikh and his Hindu wife, Anuradha, decide to re-locate to Delhi. Muneera suspects her Hindu friend, Jyoti, of setting her house on fire, while biased police officers continue oppressing Muslims and five Muslim men find a gun and attempt to seek vengeance. Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

muslim | riot | hindu | gujarat | police | See All (34) »

Taglines:

A work of fiction, based on a thousand true stories.

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

India

Language:

Hindi | Gujarati | Urdu | English

Release Date:

20 March 2009 (India) See more »

Also Known As:

Apohorismos See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$274,637
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title which is an Urdu word can mean both "quest" and "separation." See more »

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User Reviews

 
Exemplary human story - not to be missed
27 March 2009 | by bispradSee all my reviews

I admit that I was quite interested about Firaaq, mainly because of the international felicitation that it has received. Yet I was a little hesitant in going for the movie – especially after a long week at work - I didn't want to watch a heavy movie about the Gujarat riots! I instead chose what I thought would be a light movie – Straight (and regretted it). But I couldn't be more wrong about Firaaq ...

Yes its set amidst the Gujarat riots – a month after it, to be precise. But it doesn't have any of the violence or bloodshed of the riots. It instead follows a set of people who are struggling to come to terms with life in the aftermath of the riots. Nandita Das has taken some ordinary people and showed us how they react when faced with something extraordinary – it brings out the worst in some like Paresh Rawal while some like Sanjay Suri look to escape.

It is a rare movie that can stir up a whirlpool of emotions inside the viewer – feelings as diverse as loathing, despair, hope and happiness and everything that is in between – all in a runtime of just 100 minutes. Nandita Das exceeds expectations in her directorial debut in Firaaq, taking on the Gujarat riots issue with a wonderful sensitivity. Sure, she has the advantage of having a stalwarts like Naseeruddin Shah & Paresh Rawal in Firaaq - but the finesse with which the screenplay seamlessly weaves all the story together is completely to her credit

From a slightly disturbing opening scene, we are introduced to the different characters and their dilemmas - the Hindu-Muslim urban couple who are leaving town, a Muslim couple who come back to their home to find it burnt down, the gujarati housewife struggling to come to terms with her guilt, a orphaned child looking for his family and an ageing singer oblivious to reality … Each of the actors' performance has been stellar – you cannot help but loath Paresh Rawal and equally you share Deepti Naval's agony and her wish for atonement. Naseeruddin Shah is in a league of his own, playing a musician from a forgotten generation who is disconnected from today's world.

As if the multitude of stories were not enough, each of the stories tug at your heart in different directions. From the despair at finding her entire household in ashes to the suspecting her best friend, from the fear of the police to the anger at the bride's silly remarks about the riots, Muneera (Shahana Goswami) bares her thoughts to us. The sharing of the bindi between friends and the intermixing of the names Mohan and Mohsin – the movie is replete with such subtle subtexts.

With its limited runtime, Firaaq doesn't conform to the traditional norms of giving a background to each story or taking each of them to a logical conclusion. So maybe it might feel a little abrupt at the start to some. But such trifling irritants are completely forgotten by the time you finish watching Firaaq as you would find yourself overwhelmed with conflicting emotions.

I regularly review movies at http://bisprad.blogspot.com


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