How do you review a movie that is an absolute gem? A movie which entertains, enthralls and terrifies - all in one go? FILMISTAAN is more than a movie; it is a rare diamond which encompasses every aspect of film-making beautifully and captures the essence of the plot without losing the very objective of irony, which it has set out to display.
I'll try to do justice to the review although I feel absolutely inept in face of such brilliance. Movies like these should not be reviewed, there should just be a line which says, ''Please watch it; you cannot miss it.''
It's difficult to believe that this is Nitin Kakkar's first film. From scene one till the end, when the two protagonists cross the Pakistani border into India amidst a hail of bullets, FILMISTAAN shines.
The use of Muhammad Ali Jinnah's speech juxtaposed with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's 'Tryst with destiny' speech is inserted at a crucial, nerve-wracking time in the plot when emotions have been spent and freedom for the two is just a leap away! Superb!!
Hand-in-hand, this Indian and Pakistani friend make their bravest escape to victory. CHECK OUT: FILMISTAAN movie special
Sunny (Sharib Hashmi) has dreams of one day becoming a superstar on the silver screen. He lives, eats and breathes movies. He impersonates movie stars and makes the rounds of many auditions, but fails to make the grade. He is told that all big stars including Farhan Akhtar and Ranbir Kapoor were first Assistant Directors, where they learnt the trade from behind the camera.
Convinced, he agrees to assist an American crew shooting a documentary in the desert of Rajasthan. He is mistakenly kidnapped by a terrorist outfit, who realize only too late that they have got the wrong target. What they were looking for were the Americans. However, they decide to keep Sunny hostage until they rectify their mistake.
Sunny is kept captive in the house of Aftaab (Inaamulhaq), a Pakistani who lives off pirated Hindi films. Aftaab too wants to make it in Bollywood, but as a director. The two hit it off as Aftaab's desire to know more about Bollywood draws him closer to Sunny who he soon realizes is a 'loving soul'.
Here comes the twist in the tale. Kakkar began the movie as a comedy. As the audience, with the introduction of Kumud Mishra the terrorist, you are not too sure what to expect. Can this film now be a comedy? You hope it will, but soon the intentions of the terror outfit are clear. They mean business and Sunny is in danger of losing his life. But even in this adversity, Sunny never loses his appetite for cinema and making light of serious situations with his witty dialogues, especially those of his namesake, Sunny Deol.
There's a thin line which separates brilliant from mundane. Kakkar treads this line carefully never once losing the pitch of his plot; no heavy comedy, no excess violence as well. Both these aspects are tempered with just perfectly. So there you are being entertained and at the same time, a fear lurks at the back of your mind; what will happen to Sunny?
And that is where Filmistaan scores... Ten on Ten. CHECK OUT: FILMISTAAN trailer impresses Amitabh Bachchan
Kakkar uses realistic locations and minimum of fuss to unravel the beauty of Bollywood, cross-border friendship, turmoil and the terrible ache of partition that left millions of Indians wounded in the heart. A beautiful tale told in the most loving, yet subtle manner.
Sharib Hashmi is a class act. He maintains his tempo right throughout, keeping you in splits. Inaamulhaq as the Pakistani begins to grow on you as the film progresses while Kumud Mishra as the terrorist is frighteningly terrific.
FILMISTAAN is a film that cannot be missed. Watch it for its storyline. Watch it for its execution. Watch it for its many excellent performances.