Movie Review | Mee Raqsam: A divine ode

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The critic’s review of Mee Raqsam movie is here. The Zee5 original is streaming live from today – August, 21, 2020. Directed by Baba Azmi; the movie stars Danish Husain, Aditi Subedi and Naseeruddin Shah.

Watch Mee Raqsam Trailer featuring Naseeruddin Shah, Danish Husain Streaming Now On ZEE5

Immediate reaction when the end credits roll

Can you give a poignant ode to humanity by celebrating the divine Ganga Jamuna tehzeeb and remember one of India’s renowned poets and Hindi cinema’s brilliant lyricist Kaifi Azmi – all at one go? Baba Azmi’s Mee Raqsam (I Dance) does that profoundly.

The Story of Mee Raqsam

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Mariam (Aditi Subedi) a young girl in Mijwan in UP is fascinated by Bharatanatyam. Her mother has passed the genes of dancing to her. Mariam’s mother passes away while showing her a mudra. Mariam’s father Salim (Danish Husain) a tailor by profession fully supports her passion and encourages her to enrol in a school run by a classical Bharatnatyam dancer Uma (Sudeepta Singh). But the small town Mijwan (can be said as the meta of the world and the prejudice mind set) just cannot tolerate a Muslim girl learning a ‘Hindu’ dance form of devotion, love and celebration of various emotions. The clergy from both the sides – Muslim and Hindu create obstacles. Will Mariam succeed in her fight for her right to dance and express her art?

Naseeruddin Shah in Mee Raqsam by Baba Azmi streaming on Zee5
Naseeruddin Shah in Mee Raqsam by Baba Azmi streaming on Zee5

Mee Raqsam Critic Movie Review

Mee Raqsam (I dance) is predominantly a human film. This heartfelt ode by Baba Azmi to his father Kaifi Azmi –one of India’s renowned poet and brilliant lyricist of Hindi cinema (Ya Dil Ki Suno Duniya Walo Ya Abhi Mujhe Chup Rehne do, Kya Dekhi Zamane Ki Yaari, Baahron Mera Jeevan bhi sawaroon, Jhuki Jhuki Si Nazar, Kar Chale Hum Fida and much more). Presented by Shabana Azmi the directorial debut of acclaimed cinematographer Baba Azmi is simple, pure and essential.

The ode to the divine Ganga Jamuna tehzheeb (culture) is so relevant in today’s times.

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In ‘harmony’ with its theme and subject matter, Baba Azmi with a screenplay by Husain Mir and Safdar Mir is in sync with the character and atmosphere. Moving like poetry in rhythm, Baba Azmi gets outstanding support from the cast who seem to have been born to play their role.

Naseeruddin Shah in Mee Raqsam by Baba Azmi on Zee5
Naseeruddin Shah in Mee Raqsam by Baba Azmi on Zee5

Aditi Subedi is a refined talent and her eyes speak volumes. Danish Husain is an accomplished actor and here he enhances his subtlety to the demands and needs of his character with natural ease.

Mee Raqsam is also an ode to the bond of father and daughter and the moments between Danish and Aditi are very natural and relatable to the core.

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The exceptional expertise of Naseeruddin Shah, as the flag bearer of Muslim morality, gives tremendous value to this tale of humanity.

Uma (Sudeepta Singh) as the dance teacher is fantastic. Solid support comes from Shradha Kaul who plays the maternal aunt Zehra and the Hindu dance guru Rakesh Chaturvedi Om. Ripul Sharma’s ‘sufi’ number is impactful and cinematography by Mohsin Khan Pathan is eye pleasing.

Flaws

At times the execution goes patchy and gets unwantedly filmy.

Final words

Syed Sallauddin Pasha, K M Abu, MANSIYA V P in real life, Aditi Subedi in reel – Mee Raqsam is not just a story of an Indian Muslim girl to learn the Indian classical dance form BharatNatyam, it’s a story of triumph of humanity and the right of an artiste to express. True to the beliefs of the renowned lyrics Kaifi Azmi sahib, who is a picture of wisdom, love, acceptance and humanity. Mee Raqsam is a cinema which should be savoured for long.

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