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ALLAH KE BANDE - Movie Review : Only the effort is appreciable here with everything else going over the top. (Review By Bobby Sing)
27 Nov, 2010 | Movie Reviews / 2010 Releases / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / A

 Watching the first few minutes of ALLAH KE BANDE made me remember three different films from three different regions. One was the English film “Sleepers” (1996) which was about few child characters who are made to choose the wrong path of crime after their brutal exploitation in the tender age. Second was the world classic “City of God” or “Cilade de Deus” (2002) from Brazil which is considered among the world’s best movies made on the subject of child crime. And the third was our own recent flick “City of Gold” (2010) which was also based on the same subject in the background of Bombay Mill workers of the 80s.

The reason of recalling these three films was the same old one, as I found ALLAH KE BANDE a mixture of all the above mentioned movies with only one worth remembering scene and several forgettable ones. Directed by the debutant Faruk Kabir, who also has enacted one of its key role, the film can only be rated as a fine effort from the newcomer but nothing more than that. If only he had chosen either a different kind of subject or a different kind of treatment, it could have been a different case. But in the current scenario, the film is based on the same old content of children from the slums getting into the world of crime due to their own greed and sexual exploitation by some ruthless men leading to the ages old plot of gangster
s and their internal clashes.

Starting from the childhood days of two energetic kids, the director, Faruk Kabir, surprisingly spends almost more than one hour of its first half only on their childhood sequences. And after that too right till its intermission he is still busy in only introducing his various characters on the screen in a pretty over-confident manner. In fact every frame of the director clearly indicates his forceful attempt of deliberately making a path breaking film on the subject of child crime. But unfortunately he never gives you anything fresh to enjoy and his narration too remains identical to what we have already seen in many previous movies made around the same theme. Throughout the movie, Kabir only seems to be interested in showing everything with some extraordinary passion, energy and power. And maybe that is the reason why every actor looks like doing it little over the top in the entire film including both the child actors in its first half.

Actually as I see it, no one can make a classic or a path braking film intentionally or willfully. Classics get made on their own unknowingly without any deliberate efforts of the team and even the people who make them, are themselves not aware of how they were able to do it so perfectly. Therefore, it was a huge mistake of Faruk Kabir to even think that he was making a great film, which will be setting new trends in the Industry. Dreaming on the same lines he makes every actor on the screen do some overacting and go over the top where they are shouting, laughing and walking in a style which is a bit more than what was actually needed.

The second mistake he has made is to cast himself in the role of Yakub who is one of the two lead characters in the story. Frankly speaking he himself comes out to be the most unfit and over the top actors on the screen in that role and he surely should have chosen someone else to do it for him. On the other hand, Sharman Joshi as his only childhood friend turned gangster delivers a very well controlled and polished performance playing the role of Vijay, which even goes one step ahead of his effortless performance in 3 IDIOTS.

Apart from these two key characters, there is Naseeruddin Shah as their cunning Jail Warden, who excels in his transformed character of a beggar in the second half. Atul Kulkarni as the truthful teacher and Zakhir Hussain as their gangster aid play their roles perfectly. But Anjana Sukhani and Rukhsaar are not given enough scenes to prove themselves. Suhasini Mulay as the mother of kids is impactful, whereas the kids have done it a bit louder as I mentioned before. Cinematography using the actual slum locations makes the film watchable getting good support from its background music department. But at the same time, the second half also makes you yawn at several moments since you already know what’s going to happen next.

Post intermission, there are two sequences worth mentioning here which are quite opposite to each other in terms of merit. The first sequence featuring Sharman Joshi (as a gangster) 
and Naseeruddin Shah (as a beggar), defining forgiveness, puts the director in the top bracket for conceiving it with such brilliance. But the second sequence of setting fire to the body of a teenager boy (lying on a four wheeler vegetable seller’s cart) by his own teacher, in front of a group of children of 5-15 years of age, raises many questions on the sensibility, morality and thought process of the director’s mind. Truly speaking, I was just thinking of walking out of the theater after watching this unbelievable kind of scene shot in the name of creativity.

So, in all ALLAH KE BANDE can just be appreciated for its decent kind of effort made by its first time director. But talking about everything else, it goes well over the top, exploiting the same old theme of slums, child-crime, gangsters and gang wars for the nth time along with some erratic writing. Hence it would be better to watch the ongoing popular serials on the small screen having a good time in your homes and don’t even think of watching it with your entire family in the theaters.

Rating : 1.5 / 5 (An extra 1 point only for the sequence between the young Sharman and the old Naseer)


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