When your career is studded with awards be it the national level or international level or State Level, being awarded for cinematography from 1992 onwards, it indeed is a logical expectation to interpret a landscape as diverse as Kashmir in a manner which has not been done before at all. The individual Santosh Sivan has woven a tapestry of magic and created a cinematographic elegy in the form of TAHAAN, which for nothing else but the evocative manner in which Kashmir has been captured would fetch him a reward. If Shah Jehan were to be alive and views TAHAAN would indeed explain that the heaven called Kashmir has become alive once again through TAHAAN even though the background of the film is not romance but terrorism.
Santosh Sivan as a director is first a cinematographer then a director. His fascination for snow as a landscape was evident for the first time when he showcased it through ROZA. Though it was shot in Kullu Manali, for those who have not been to Manali it could have been Kashmir. Possibly, having exposed to the exciting tapestry that he could create with snow may have been the catalytic factor to shoot a full-length feature film that has virgin snow in the background, and that too from Kashmir.
If there were one director who has continuously revisited the psychology of terrorism and the trauma that it causes to those who have been affected by it, Santosh Sivan would win it hands down. Right from the time when he was associated with ROJA to DIL SE to THE TERRORIST and now through TAHAAN Santosh Sivan has tried to unreel one more layer from the facade called terrorism and exposed to the public the manner in which terrorism operates and has posited it to deconstruct the approach to terrorism. Possibly, because of this reason he was haggled by one of the political leaders in a Talk Show as well, when he said that all the terrorists through one brush. He also was the first director who could bring out the torture that the freedom fighters endured in Andaman's through his film KAALA PAANI.
At a time when Kashmir is on boil, the film has come at an opportune time, the catch is only whether people in Kashmir would be able to see how beautiful there land is, and try to work to make its glory intact.