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FILMISTAAN – Film Review

A thriller-comedy about Bollywood obsessed fans on either sides of the border


Filmistaan- Film Review

In Mumbai, an affable Bollywood buff and wanna-be-actor Sunny (Sharib Hashmi), who works as an assistant director, fantasizes on becoming a heart-throb star. However, at every audition he is summarily thrown out. (FILMISTAAN – Film Review)

Undeterred, he goes with an American crew to remote areas in Rajasthan to work on a documentary. One day an Islamic terrorist group kidnaps him for the American crew-member.

Sunny finds himself on enemy border amidst guns and pathani-clad guards, who decide to keep him hostage until they locate their original target.

The house in which he is confined belongs to a Pakistani Aftab (Inaamulhaq), whose trade stems from pirated Hindi films, which he brings back every time he crosses the border.

Soon, the two factions realize that they share a human and cultural bond. The film shows how cinema can be the universal panacea for co-existence.

In India it is the mother who is most regarded and respected, then it is the Bharat mata ‘maa’ and immediately thereafter, it is undeniable that Cine’maa’ that is the most adorable ‘maa’ (mother) in Indian culture. Cinema is deeply entrenched in the dna of people of the sub-continent (read as India and Pakistan) which shares the same interest in Bollywood or the Hindi cinema.

The film has a strong plot and well-developed characters (especially the protagonists – Sunny and Aftab), sharing the similar interests between them. There is also a reference to cricket and cricketing idols, which is another common thread between people of the neighbouring countries.

The protagonist is a real life like character that of Sukhwinder “Sunny” Arora, a struggling actor, is yet to get a break through despite several auditions.

Down, but not out, Sunny grabs the opportunity as an assistant director for a documentary being filmed by an American unit. At least he wont have to worry about his bills and daily expenses.

The unit shoots in Rajasthan, somewhere near the border, when Sunny gets kidnapped by a gang of terrorists, mistaking him for an American in the darkness.

He wakes up to find that he is still in a desert, but that location is now in a village across the border, in Pakistan. He is held as a captive in a house of a local villager, whose son Aftab appears to be a friendly person.

Aftab, is a small time trader who smuggles CDs of pirated Bollywood films from India, while Sunny tries every trick in the book like delivering famous filmy dialogues, mimicking and his comical renditions of popular Bollywood actors. It is here that one realizes that this one is a refreshingly simple and an entertaining film.

Over time, Aftab and Sunny develop a bond over their obsession with cinema.

Whether Sunny is successful in freeing himself and how Aftab interacts with him in this endeavor is an interesting aspect.

Filmistaan has more than few enjoyable moments, one feels that its potential could have been exploited even more. Gopal Dutt and Kumud Mishra are convincing as their parts that of the captors and it is the refreshing plot and superb performances from Shahib Hashmi and Imanullah that makes the film worth a watch.

For ENLARGED PICS, click on the Thumbnails:

Sharib Hashmi as Sunny
Innamulhaq as Aftaab
Kumud Mishra as Mehmood
Gopal Datt as Jawwad
Saroj Sharma
Ravi Bhushan
Waseem Khan
Tushar Jha
Manoj Bakshi
Sagnik Chakrabarty
Kavita Thapliyal


Banner – Satellite Pictures Pvt. Ltd., Shringar Films Pvt Ltd, Utv Motion Pictures
Produced by Shyam Shroff, Balkrishna Shroff
Director – Nitin Kakkar
Editor – Shachindra Vats
Story by Nitin Kakkar
Music Director – Arijit Dutta
Lyricist – Ravinder Randhawa
Cinematography – Subhransu Das
Executive Producer – Umesh Pawar
Art – Urvi Ashar, Shipra Rawal
Screenplay – Nitin Kakkar
Dialogue – Sharib Hashmi
Sound – Sameer Patra, Arun Nambiar
Costume Designer – Payal Ashar Chohan
FILMISTAAN – Film Review