The story of a journalist from Delhi who happens to go to Kashmir and gets caught by STF forces, how her one day in a specially police cell changes her life. Identity card talks about the ...
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The story of a journalist from Delhi who happens to go to Kashmir and gets caught by STF forces, how her one day in a specially police cell changes her life. Identity card talks about the history of Kashmir, ideological differences of people... myths about religion, about identity of a common person in a warlike situation... situation of a police person serving his duty, a common man, parents whose children are missing... and at the end, a ray of hope towards the changing scenario of Jammu and Kashmir... a suggestive thought, a solution; rehabilitation of those who have chosen a wrong track. Black humor with a touch of satire at some places and elements of thrill.Written by
It begins realistically & then comes up with some extremely important questions raised on terrorism, reminding me of the dark days of Punjab.
Agreeing with the fact that Identity CARD is not any kind of masterpiece contemplating upon a burning issue through its honest- shocking content, the conclusion can only be drawn by those who have actually watched this lesser known film featuring a talented cast in the theatres. And since almost 99% of the people reading this, would not have seen it spending their valuable time & money, the film clearly reveals the hypocrisy practiced by "We, the viewers" when it comes to such comparatively small projects having a limited release.
Putting it more bluntly if you arrange a seminar on the issue of "Problems in releasing small independent films" calling in some celebrity film-makers participating in the panel OR release these kind of films in a well publicized festival where they are shown free of cost on first come first basis, then I bet that the theater would be full with mostly youngsters eager to discuss & watch it, not minding sitting on the floors too like some serious cinema lovers.
However on the other side, the truth remains that despite all the above mentioned positivity, if such a film gets released in one or two shows in a multiplex at a ticket price of say Rs.250-300 then 8 out of 10 times the show would get cancelled, due to no visitors, no ticket buyers or no takers at all.
And this is hypocrisy practiced by "We, the viewers" when it comes to showing the courage to watch these small films in the theaters, instead of the other usual star based projects releasing every Friday. So I am not going to blame the exhibitors/distributors for this mess but ourselves only, who are actually responsible for the diminishing quality of our Hindi films now mostly focusing on mere circus entertainment.
Coming back to IDENTITY CARD, Yes, it's not an exceptionally great film to be honest but not an ignorable or forgettable venture too due to its few powerful performances and the relevant question asked on the dilemma faced by the officials, human rights violation, the disappearance of thousands of Kashmiri civilians and the process to discriminate between a terrorist and an innocent person followed by the police or the STF.
It begins from a metro city with a TV journalist bagging an assignment of a documentary film to be made on Kashmir and then enters the tense zone when the journalist Nazia, her local resident (Facebook) friend Ajay and another local tourist guide Raju are arrested by the STG for further interrogations on the grounds of suspicion. The first half of the film is a bit tiring and repetitive too as it all happens within the same cell. But a powerful scene between the two junior officers talking about their personal life lifts up the progression emotionally, along with a lighter act from their recently married duty officer constantly receiving his wife's calls in the middle of the grilling.
Post intermission, as expected the narration explodes with all its meaningful questions asked and it's the last 30 minutes that simply make it a worth appreciating, thoughtful attempt indeed, ignoring the earlier flaws. So though at times the film seems to be quite stretched with some uneven editing, weak background score and an average camera-work, still IDENTIDY CARD should rightly be rated as a sincere and noble attempt from director Rahat Kazmi with a much better second half having all the hard hitting scenes focusing on the core issue.
The performances remain the key attraction throughout confidently led by Vipin Sharma as the senior most officer with a stern attitude towards the suspected. His few minutes act in the climax is nothing short of sheer brilliance, forcing you to keep thinking while moving out of the theater in realistic terms. Saurabh Shukla with his noticeable Kashmiri accent and Brijendra Kala as the annoyed junior are the two other superb actors who hold the film well along with veteran Raghuveer Yadav as a Government officer and so does Prashanth Gupta playing the newly-wed Inspector in the first half. Whereas Tia Bajpai, Furqan Merchant and Shoib Kazmi as the three prime suspect keep trying hard to get noticed.
Apart from the performances it was really enlightening to know the entire history of Kashmir told with the a slide-show post the climax and then even more pleasant surprise was reading the names of almost all the leading actors of IDENTITY CARD as the film's producers too, which in fact can be called as the vision for the future indeed for such small yet meaningful ventures.
In the end returning to the basic subject, it reminded me of those dark days of Punjab and the reign of officer K.P.S. Gill, who was and is still blamed by many for killing numerous innocent boys of Punjab in search of those hiding extremists. The same is now happening in all those states of India facing a similar problem be it Kashmiris, Assamese or more. Therefore as I feel the very question that "Whether the STG or Police is doing the right thing or not?" has actually got two correct answers given by two different sections.
From the administration viewpoint there is no other solution with them to find or catch the actual terrorists and as per the law it's a clear violation of the human rights, killing many unknown innocents in order to reach the real culprits.
The question still haunts people of Punjab even after more than two decades and it remains the key one being presently asked in Kashmir, Assam or other states quite strongly. And that's the reason I consider this film important enough to be seen at least once by all thinking citizens of the country supporting the commendable attempt.
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