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I AM – movie review

I AM is about people with fractured lives held together by unbroken dreams


I AM - movie review

I AM is a film which has four different stories about four characters Afia, Megha, Abhimanyu and Omar shot in Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kashmir. It is a new age bollywood film which takes up different stories about various characters and has a string that binds them together and this is what holds this honest film with fine performances.

I AM is about issues and dilemmas that bruise the modern Indian society. Unraveling and exploring these tribulations, the film unfolds many a tale of individuals struggling to find their identity, and uphold their dignity in a world that is callous, cold and unsympathetic.

Shot in four different cities across India, I AM is a fusion of stories where the protagonists share a common dream – a desire to regain their lives, to regain an identity which has been taken away from them.

I AM AFIA is the story of a single woman who feels her identity will be made whole through the singular feminine experience of motherhood. It’s about Purab Kohli and Nandita Das who is unable to trust or even wait for a man, her search is defined – does motherhood necessarily require the burden of a man?

I AM MEGHA is a story of two friends – a Kashmiri Pandit woman and a Muslim woman – separated by conflict played by Juhi Chawla and Manisha Koirala. Against the backdrop of the exodus of Hindu’s in Kashmir in early 90’s, it’s a story of loss of home and identity. If your own home rejects you, where do you go and where are you “from”?

I AM ABHIMANYU is the story of a broken man, with a proud mask. Abhimanyu (Sanjay Suri) is trapped by the demons of his past, a past of sexual abuse by his step father (Anurag Kashyap). To move forward he must first go back, into a world where his childhood was stolen from him.

I AM OMAR is a horrific tale of sexual discrimination; blackmail and prejudice is part of the torrid fabric. Omar (Arjun Mathur) and his new partner Jai (Rahul Bose) are accosted by a vulgar homophobic cop (Abhimanyu Singh) showering filthy language and his even filthier intentions towards the cowering gay couple. This part has very impressive performances from Arjun and Rahul while it is Abhimanyu Singh who comes up a with wonderful effort.

It reveals how the police use Article 377 (law under Indian Penal code which criminalizes homosexuality) to harass and blackmail gay men. In the current climate of media sensationalism, perhaps this story gains even more poignancy.

Characters move in and out of the stories, thus linking them in terms of content and structure. In all, I AM is about glimpses into the lives of people who often do not know what’s right and very often, do not do the right thing. There is a beauty in simple things, and a dignity in individual struggle – through its stories, I AM reflects the story of everyone.

I AM is born of true life incidents. And it makes us think. A highly recommended film for viewers with an appetite for an issue-centric drama.

Cast of I AM:
Juhi Chawla
Manisha Koirala
Rahul Bose
Nandita Das
Sanjay Suri
Purab Kohli
Abhimanyu Singh
Arjun Mathur
Shernaz Patel
Radhika Apte
Anurag Basu
Anurag Kashyap

Special Appearance
Pooja Gandhi
Manav Kaul
Rushad Rana
Behram Rana
Madhu Sagar
Arry Dabbas
Mukesh Sawlani
Faisal Burza
Fayeem Shah
Mushtaq Kak
Zain Salam
Zubin Jauhari
Dhrishit Sonegara
Sayali Brahme

Credits & Crew of I AM:
Production Company – Anticlock Films
Produced by Sanjay Suri & Onir
Directed by Onir
Associate Producers – Juhi Chawla, Jay Mehta, Sangita Modi, Anish Modi
Lyrics – Amitabh Bhattacharya & Amitabh Varma
Sound Design – Arun Nambiar
Editor – Irene Dhar Mallik and Onir
Writer – Urmi Juvekar, Merle Kroeger & Onir
Director of Photography – Arvind Kannabiran Styling – Manish Malhotra, Anita Dongre, Aki Narula, Dev
Music – Amit Trivedi, Vivek Philip, Rajiv Bhalla
Publicity Design – Siddharth Dutta
Marketing – Tarun Tripathi
Marketing Consultant – Vikramjit Roy
Associate Director – Amar Kaushik
Distributed by PVR pictures
Graphics – Siddhart Meer
Publicity Stills – Sayan Sur Roy
Online Consultant – Mayank Dhingra
Assistant Directors – Archis Achrekar, Diksha Sharma, Chaitanya Kulkarni, Gopal Annam, Rumjhum Banerjee, Rohit Arora, Sandeep Malani, Shrenik, Sunayana Kumari, Sumit Arora
I AM – movie review