No Fathers in Kashmir movie review: Intensely hard-hitting & disturbing

No Fathers in Kashmir movie poster
No Fathers in Kashmir movie poster

NO FATHERS IN KASHMIR MOVIE REVIEW is here. The Indian Hindi-English-Urdu-Kashmiri language drama is directed by Oscar Nominated Ashvin Kumar. Featuring Zara Webb, Ashvin Kumar, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Anshuman Jha and Natasha Mago, the movie is finally releasing this Friday – April 05, 2019 after struggling with the CBFC.  Has Ashwini Kumar able to bring the plight of Kashmir and its people piously again after LITTLE TERRORIST, and INSHALLAH, KASHMIR?, let’s find out in NO FATHERS IN KASHMIR movie review.

Immediate reaction when the end credits of NO FATHERS IN KASHMIR roll
This truth is undeniably bitter - humanity is the biggest causality in the ongoing war for Kashmir since ages.

The Story of NO FATHERS IN KASHMIR
A charming sixteen year old Noor Meer visits Kashmir with her mother and to-be step-father. The innocent Noor having no idea about the turmoil the valley is facing since ages, is shocked to find the real reason behind the disappearing act of her father. She befriends a local Kashmiri boy Majid (Shivam Raina) whose father shared a good friendship with her dad. There is an eerie mystery behind these sudden disappearances that involves Arshid (Ashvin Kumar)– a common friend of Noor’s and Majid’s father who has now turned impotent preacher of Islam and whose motives are quite suspicious.

What is good in NO FATHERS IN KASHMIR
Ashvin Kumar is a known voice as far as Kashmir is concerned on screen. He is brave and unafraid of his views and has landed in trouble before - LITTLE TERRORIST, INSHALLAH, KASHMIR etc all have had their share of controversies and NO FATHERS IN KASHMIR is not at all different. But, without getting into any politics, I would like to comment on Ashvin Kumar ‘s latest NO FATHERS IN KASHMIR as a movie. The most striking feature of the movie which has its share of political parable, an outrage, is the ability to grab your attention with the emotional roller coaster that Noor goes through right from her happy days in London to the journey of discovering the truth about her father. The path of Noor’s journey in finding her father has everything – pain, suffering, fear, outrage, redemption and search for justice. Nobody can truly know what an individual goes through; similarly we who are residing in our comforts in our home can never hundred percent understand the hardship a Kashmiri and the security forces are facing. In one scene an army office played by Anshuman Jha says, “ I don’t see the enemy eye to eye, here in every villager I have to see an informer or an enemy”.  A scene where a ‘half widow’ is caught red handed with someone by Arshid and the last 20 + minutes shake you and feel disturbed. Zara Webb and Shivum Raina are wonderful, through them the innocence and melancholy of Kashmir hits the right chord. Veterans like Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Soni Razdan are just brilliant. Noteworthy performances comes from Anshuman Jha, Maya Sarao and Natasha Mago. Ashvin Kumar is quite effective as Arshid. Music by Loïk Dury and Christophe ‘Disco’ Minck is soothing as well as melancholic.

Flaws
Now, why have a spoiler right in the name..?. The title seems to be an attempt to add sensationalism and this time Ashwini in his cry for the ‘missing’ in NO FATHERS IN KASHMIR misses the important – a sweeping dope of hope (HAMID was more pious, soothing and hopeful). It’s not completely absent, it’s there in the ‘shoe’ sequence in the end but still ‘dil mange more’ and before that Ashvin Kumar is guilty of having a contrived notion that all the action of Noor is acceptable. She can roam around Kashmir freely, taking pictures, going on crazy adventures in Jungle. For a movie that should have stayed powerfully strong and solid in its strength from subject matter – missing people in Kashmir, this spurt of sudden adventures intimacy and teen romanticisms makes its unsubtle and Ashvin Kumar’s less impactful effort as compared from his previous ones.

Final words
NO FATHERS IN KASHMIR could have been intensely hard-hitting & disturbing drama throughout but in any case the last 20+ odd minutes sees the movie transcending deficiencies through the sheer strength of its subject material – Missing people in Kashmir though it fails to balance it with a sweeping dope of hope. Going with 3 stars but with some concern.

Rating 3/5

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Movie Cast & Crew
  • Director: Ashvin Kumar
  • Actress: Zara Webb, Soni Razdan
  • Actor: Shivam Raina, Ashvin Kumar
  • Release Date : 05 Apr 2019
  • Movie Duration : 1 Hr 50 mins