Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Naseem: The Morning Breeze

[cross-posted at]

With the release of Parzania and the surrounding controversies I'm reminded of another movie that dealt with the same subject.

Dadaji, yeh ashmaan neela kyun hain
Kyun ki mere ko peela raang pasand nahin, toh maine ise neela rang se paint kiya

This is one of those several memorable dialogue exchanges that characterize the Syed Mirza’s 1995 film Naseem. The story is about a typical Muslim middle-class family at the back-drop of communal tension prior to the Babri Masjid demolition. The movie follows their day-to-day life about a few months before the Dec 6-th events takes place. The initial few reels are spent on strong character built-up based upon the interaction between the two of the main actors. Naseem, played by Mayuri Kango, is a teenage girl who needs answer to a thousand questions. The Grand-pa, played by Kaifi Aazmi, who is living his last few days amongst his memories. As the tremor of the events at Ayodhya casts its shadows, a simple teenage girl goes through the confusion of trying to understand it all.

The brilliance of this movie lays in the amazing simplicity with which director handles the whole script. Nowhere in the movie we have flashing scenes of ravaging communal riots, nor we have high-pitched melodramatic dialouge sparked between the actors. Yet it strongly brings out the terror and anger in the eyes of an average Muslim guy, as the writings on the wall becomes clearer. The different blends of the reactions to this communal tension are aptly given dimension by the different members of the family.

While on one end, lies Kaifi Aazmi’s representation of old-school of tolerance, on the other end lies the elder brother’s (played by Salim Shah) hot-headedness that wants eye-for-an-eye revenge. And in between is torned the mom and dad (played by Uttara Baokar and Khulbhusan Kharbanda) who play the indecisive passive roles in the whole chain of events surrounding their daily lives. The whole spectrum is brought forth through the eyes of the teenager Naseem, superbly under acted by a de-glamorized Mayuri Kango.

The movie ends with the death of the grand-father’s death on 6-th of Dec, the very day that history will remember for an entirely different reason. Perhaps the death signifies the end of the tolerance of an earlier generation that is steadfastly loosing its value amongst the turbulent times.

Sadly this was a last movie for all the three: Syed Mirza as a director, Kaifi Aazmi as an actor and perhaps Mayuri Kango in a lead role. In his last effort of simple yet touching story telling technique involving real life characters, Syed Mirza does leave a mark on his viewer. And maybe simplicity is the sole reason that makes this mark special to last for a lifetime. And therein lays the success of any creativity and its creator.


Shreemoyee said...

I will watch the movie, if you find a link to it some where on the web, do send it.

Bishu said...

I very much doubt guys @ NFDC have any concept of online links. Not sure even if the DVD of the movie exists or not.

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