Mulk: Compelling, Sensitive and Powerful!

Writer-Director-Producer Anubhav Sinha’s film Mulk starring Rishi Kapoor and Taapsee Pannu in the lead roles, throws light on hatred many in India have over Muslims or Pakistan. Here’s a review of the movie.

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Cast: Rishi Kapoor, Taapsee Pannu, Neena Gupta, Manoj Pahwa, Prateik Babbar and others.

Rating: 3.5/5

Firstly, India vs. Pakistan has always been a subject of discussion ever since partition, be it over cricket, religion, mere thoughts or various other socio-economic or political debates. Secondly, we Indians largely share a habit of generalization, especially in rural and underdeveloped areas where anything related to terrorism or hatred or violence brings Muslims, Pakistan or anything related to the first thought. Sadly, that’s the truth! Talking about the same is Writer-Director-Producer Anubhav Sinha’s recent release Mulk, starring Rishi Kapoor, Taapsee Pannu, and other eminent actors.

Murad Ali Mohammed’s (Rishi Kapoor) family is settled in Benaras and lives a happy life, until one unfortunate day when the youngest son of the family Shahid Mohammed (Prateik Babbar) becomes a part of terrorist activities, eventually killing many in a bomb blast. His participation brings trouble for the family who is unaware of his intentions. This incident questions their reputation and makes life difficult for everyone in the family, especially, Bilaal Mohammed (Manoj Pahwa) who is taken into custody under several suspicions. They now have no choice but to defend themselves in the court where they are labelled for merely being Muslims. Murad Ali and his Hindu daughter-in-law, Aarti Mohammed (Taapsee Pannu) fight the case in the court.

Director Anubhav Sinha’s attempt today reflects the thoughts and bring forth the prejudice which has become a part of perception today in India. Mulk addresses several issues which block the human mindset when it comes to communal suspicions, clarifying once again that that terrorism has no religion. Impressive dialogues in the second half of the film, during the courtroom drama, throw light on the reality, where our lives today are divided unfortunately on the basis of ‘us’ vs ‘them.’

Rishi Kapoor as Murad Ali Mohammed delivers his role with ease. He portrays a Muslim man with nuances, emotions, and power, to ensure that he is a compassionate Indian tired of labelled a terrorist or a Pakistani. Prateik Babbar as Shahid is impressive. He has a small, but an important character to play as a Muslim boy who volunteers in his criminal act. Taapsee Pannu as Aarti makes a mark yet again. She has mastered strong characters and delivers her performance both as a concerned daughter-in-law and a lawyer to her best. Others in the cast are eminent and strong.

The makers have beautifully captured the film against the backdrop of Benaras and Lucknow. Intricacies of the chaotic and narrow lanes, a strong community, etc. add value to the film. The first half of the film focuses more on the family and the issues they face due to the incident and labels. It is quite slow in the beginning and takes time to grab your attention, but the second half really works, largely due to the courtroom drama and dialogues, which absolutely make sense.

The focus of the debate over us vs. them shines in the film. Dialogues written for Taapsee Pannu and Kumud Mishra in the climax deserve an applause for its strength. To sum it up, Anubhav Sinha’s Mulk is strong as it once again talks about one of the strong communal issues we face today in India.

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