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NAKKASH – movie review

A sensitive film revolving around a Muslim craftsman in Varanasi


Nakkash movie review

Varanasi (Benaras) is the backdrop of Nakkash which is actually an offbeat film that succeeds in conveying the writer-director’s message that the supreme power, whether you call it as God or Allah; it doesn’t differentiate between religions.

There are dialogues such as Bhagwan is Allah’s brother and the other one is that spoken by the protagonist – to have been born in the holy city of Varanasi is in itself a privilege.

Thankfully, the director of Nakkash doesn’t resort to depicting the gory violence between the two communities, yet the differences between them are honestly and subtly portrayed… unlike the political leaders of the Hindus and Muslims who play their cards subtly and wolfishly to keep the differences alive so as to keep their “dukaan jaari” (to fructifully carry on their respective business).

Nakkash is the story of a handcraftsman who is a talented engraver specializing in intricately and beautifully engraving the idols and the altar of the Hindu Gods.

A talented Muslim artisan Alla Rakha (Inaamul Haque) and a widower in Varanasi gets boycotted by his community including the Mullas, except that he has a psychological support of his rickshaw driver friend. Alla Rakha is also mindful as well as financiall contributes towards his friend’s old father’s wish to go for Haj pilgrimage.

Alla Rakha has a son who is not granted admission in Madarsa for his primary schooling purely because the son’s father is an craftsman for the Hindu Temples in Varanasi. Even the local police holds him up for some petty reason only to take out their frustration since this Muslim handcraftsman has the gifted talent to engrave Gods in Hindu Temples.

Nakkash also hinges around Bhagwandas Tripathi alias Vendanti (Kumud Mishra), a Trustee of the Ram temple where Alla currently is assigned to engrave the idols and the altar. This temple priest is a literate and cultured person with a balanced mind.

Respecting all religions, Vedanti is man of his words therefore he supports Alla Rakha for his dedication and creativity towards his work. Vedanti’s son Munnabhai is a running Candidate of a ruling political party in a Town. This is where hindrances and stumbling blocks appear in the otherwise peacefully ‘adjusted’ Alla Rakha’s life.

Notable all throughout the film is Alla Rakha’s love and attachment towards his son and there are emotional moments when he comes running home after the child is shunned and attached by other locals. Another important moment is when the craftsman visits Lucknow to wed again solely for the purpose of finding a woman who would shower motherly love on his cute, sensible and understanding child.

Nakkash is an eyeopener for the Hindus as well as the Muslim community as it shows how a peacefully living father-son’s life is poisoned by the communal hatred.

Zaigham Imam has sensitively portrayed the differences between the communities without being harsh on any side and has subtly conveyed the message of harmony of the people (3 stars for the same). An additional star for Sumit Mishra’s art direction and Asit Biswas’s cinematography which make Nakkash worth a watch.

Credits of Nakkash:
Director, Writer and Producer – Zaigham Imam
Producer – Pawan Tiwari, Govind Goyal
Associate Producer Presenter- Piiyush Singh
Music Director – Aman Pant
Editor – Prakash Jha
Cinematographer – Asit Biswas
Art Director – Sumit Mishra
Media Relations (PRO) – Ashwani Shukla, Altair Media

Cast of Nakkash:
Alla Rakha -Inaamul Haq
Samad – Sharib Hashmi (Alla Rakha’s friend)
Bhagwandas Tripathi (Vedanti) – Kumad Mishra
Mohammed (Alla Rakha’s son) – Siddu
Cop – Rajesh Sharma
Sheeba – Gulki Joshi
Mayank Tripathi alias Munna Bhaia – Pawan Tiwari