Sunday, August 17, 2008

Amu - On the 1984 Riots

While Parzania is more famous today because it dealt with the complicity of the state machinery in Gujarat, that is still fresh in public memory thanks to the media, our politicians, the state Government in question and the terrorists who seem to draw revenge from it much similar to how a leech sucks blood, this movie “Amu” got lost somewhere amid the chaos.

I remember hearing about this movie when I was in college and making a mental note to see it. That wish got fulfilled the day after our 62nd independence day. This focuses on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, the epicenter of which was Delhi and the then central Government is widely held as aiding the abettors of genocide.

Konkona Sen Sharma playing the lead role shines throughout - be it in her American accent or the helplessness with which she struggles to come to terms with her identity. Helping her find her real parents is Kabir played by Ankur Khanna. Having grown up in America, Konkona returns to the place of her birth and chances upon a conversation about the 1984 riots and gets curious only to discover that her real parents were the victims.

Shonali Bose, the director has navigated a very delicate territory and in the end has made a beautiful movie that one would long remember. Having seen Parzania, the level of gory detail here is relatively less but the effect is the same and therein lays the impact.

The supporting cast is subtle in its roles and never goes overboard with detail. Sympathy, understanding and realization of the enormity of the crime and empathy with the lead protagonist are all essayed with subdued élan. Brinda Karat, one of the faces of the left until recently when the party made some serious miscalculation plays the mother who adopts Konkona and ultimately spills the beans about her childhood and her real parents.

The first half establishes the environment and the second half is riveting in its portrayal of suffering and Governmental negligence. I can’t help but feel that only in a democracy like ours and only because of a watchful media and a robust freedom of expression, movies like this get made by bold men and women and history, however strong, the saying “The winner writes the history books” is at least not easily forgotten!

1 comment:

The Layman said...

Dude, you have been tagged! :-)