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KAAFIRON KI NAMAAZ - Directly released on Youtube, its a long, theatrical presentation pointing towards many suppressed issues of our society that deserves to be given a chance. (Review by Bobby Sing)
09 Jun, 2016 | Movie Reviews / 2016 Releases / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / K

Kaafiron Ki Namaaz

Not willing to join the producers having unreleased films lying in the cans due to some censor & exhibition issues, Bhargav Saikia, the young producer took a revolutionary step and released his ‘award winning’ but ‘censor-rejected’ film on the digital platform Youtube without any cuts or amount charged for the online viewing. The brave and unheard of initiative got him and his director Ram Ramesh Sharma huge appreciation from the end users (in the form of comments) and at the time of writing this review, the upload had crossed 4,50,000 views and the number is still growing at a good speed declaring it an ‘internet hit’. The daring upload actually gives us an insight into the coming future. But keeping the discussion for the end let’s talk about the film and its key features first, giving you a fair idea of what it’s actually all about.
With a controversial title looking for trouble, KAAFIRON KI NAMAAZ is a debut film of both its young producer and director winning wide appreciation in various parts of the world in the last two years. Ironically the film got rejected by the Censor authorities of its own country due to many bold and brutal dialogues beginning with a highly debatable sequence related with Indian military operations in Kashmir.
In fact it’s these opening seven minutes of the film only (in Kashmiri with English subtitles) that can easily be considered as a class apart exposing an issue that has been repeatedly brought forward and then thrown back into the dark giving it a deliberate political angle for the obvious reasons. Beginning with this shockingly revealing well-shot sequence, the film forces you to take it seriously, but then a voice over raising some valid social questions followed by a soulful song exposing its typical stage-act kind of presentation puts you in two minds.
Post these initial 10 minutes, the director takes you into a fixed premise of an old forgotten hotel in Kashmir, introducing the two lead and two supporting characters of the script asking for the next 140 minutes of your time (that honestly is asking for too much for an experimental film). In short, these four characters of an army man, a writer, a tea seller-cum-musician and a cameraman take you on to a mixed-thoughtful journey in the next two hours that at one end seems to be deeply insightful focusing on many social issues, but on the other also looks like a purposefully designed bouquet of bold expressions enacted by a couple of over-excited performers to be exact.
As a spirited first time effort, the film is indeed a worth appreciating venture making a decent impact on the thinking viewers in terms of subject and execution. But at the same time, it also remains unable to maintain an intensifying pace reaching any kind of cathartic climax as expected. At times one simply loves the heated arguments between its aggressive characters, but there are moments when you also feel the performers going over the top putting in much more extra effort than actually required. Yes, the whole setting looks intriguing with some meaningful questions asked pointing towards many suppressed issues of our society, but with a pretty routine & predictable conclusion, it doesn’t really serve any purpose as such shattering the big expectations.
Giving the technical department its due, KKN successfully makes a fine impression through its artistic frames, the apt lighting, interesting production design, fine cinematography and minimal background score as per its limited theme. The intelligent metaphors used by the writer-director keep drawing your attention at regular intervals maintaining the interest alive. Yet, the various life instances shared by the two lead characters appear to be quite random, forcefully trying to hit the viewer with a new social question every 10 minutes moving on to another without giving any precise answer.
For instance, a person doesn’t like the film Mera Naam Joker and Mahatma Gandhi, but doesn’t give any reason for that. The other person betrays a friend, is still a virgin (even after 50 years of age), but isn’t interested in sharing why? They both switch on from Hindi to English when none of them looks comfortable speaking it fluently. The typical theatrical insertions like that of ‘a cream or namkeen biscuits’, repeatedly give you a feeling of watching a play and not a feature film to be precise. Besides, the climax unfortunately ruins it all and doesn’t turn out to be anything fresh and intellectual as the film is supposed to be.
Having said that I am still more interested in praising the film for its rare merits ignoring the minuses mentioned above, as you don’t get to see such sincere attempts made in the present scenario of Hindi cinema, more inclined towards just glamour, entertainment and commercial projects to be forgotten after their first week itself. Moreover, I really doubt if any reputed production house would even dare to fund such film shot over a single set featuring just 3 or four characters exposing themselves like some naked men without any hiding at all feeling some kind of relief in their bold personal confessions.
So would like to applaud the effort of making a film that honestly tries to justify its controversial title through the journey of its observant characters from being ‘Impure’ (Kaafir) to ‘Purity’ (Namaaz). Also for having an off-beat musical soundtrack (by Advait Nemlekar) that certainly was not going to find any approval from the music companies presently run by management graduates and business degree holders, more relying on their EYES instead of EARS.
Besides, would love to appreciate KAAFIRON KI NAMAAZ for two of its clear inspirational sources that are actually worth getting inspired from by all means. The first being QUENTIN TARANTINO whose influence is clearly visible in the film’s entire style of narration, character development and story progression ending on a similar note that was incidentally there in QT’s latest film too (also revolving around a few characters violently interacting within a room itself). And the second is the incomparable SAADAT HASSAN MANTO whose short stories can easily be seen hiding in few of the personal experiences shared by two lead characters providing the severe shock-value (particularly reminding you of his most talked about and controversial short story THANDA GOSHT). Interestingly the writer-director openly accepts this influence in the film itself naming a character Manto, as narrated by the professor. But I would have really appreciated if an acknowledgment for the same was also given in the opening titles itself to the master creator.
Coming to the discussion on its daring online upload for no charges at all, I have personally seen many such meaningful ventures sitting alone in the theatre and that too after duly requesting the manager for running the film as a favour. So I can assure that the same would have been the case with KAAFIRON KI NAMAAZ too, had it been released in a costly multiplex (with a minimal publicity), running the film for just 1 show and that too at an odd timing.
Here, whether one likes to accept or not, the truth is that we all actually love or prefer FREEBIES in life a lot more than anything else. So where we have more than 4.5 lakh viewers who have seen the film online offered for free, there would not have been even 1 lakh viewers going to the theater buying a ticket of average 200 rupees in reality. In fact even on Youtube, had the producers kept a price of say Rs.65 or 1 dollar per view, the result would have been a lot different for sure, as seen in many similar cases.
Giving you a personal example, I referred KAAFIRON KI NAMAAZ to a thinking friend, but falsely told him that its available for Rs.50 online. He asked whether its available on Torrent too? I said NO and he didn’t watch the movie for next 3 days without even bothering about what its all about. However, the moment I informed him that its now available for FREE, he watched it that very night and called me in the morning having some praises to share. So in this kind of scenario we are nothing but all CONCERNED INTELLECTUAL HYPOCRITES, who wish to watch, grasp and cherish all the worth watching content in the world for FREE, but not willing to spend on the same, considering a new pair of Jeans or a weekend dinner much more important in comparison.
Still, finding a great positive in the case looking at some hypothetical calculations, we can really skip all the troubles of weird censorship, issues with exhibitors, odd show timings, less shows at selected theaters and high priced tickets, if only we can develop a habit of paying online for such films in the coming future. Because even if just 1 crore people decide to pay 100 Rupees for a view (in the world over) then it becomes 100 crores for the film taking us into a different world altogether in terms of ‘creative expressions and returns’. And with more cases such as KAAFIRON KI NAMAAZ and UDTA PUNJAB coming up, I hope it happens at the earliest keeping the sanity intact.
Anyway coming back to the concluding part of the review, KAAFIRON KI NAMAAZ is certainly a tough watch that might offend you at times along with forcing you to think about your personal experiences related with love, sex and profession introspectively. The film is tiringly long, monotonous in presentation and tries to incorporate too many thoughtful subjects missing any novel culmination. But it still deserves to be given a chance as its nothing short of a courageous, distinctive first time attempt by the team having its own moments of excellence without any holding back.
Rating : 3 + 0.5 / 5 (With the additional 0.5 for the spirited rebellious move of releasing it online for free).

Tags : Kaafiron Ki Namaaz Review by Bobby Sing, Kaafiron Ki Namaaz Film Review by Bobby Sing, Unreleased films, Banned Films, Controversial Films caught in Censors, New Bollywood Movies Released, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com
09 Jun 2016 / Comments ( 4 )
Vikas Saitya

Dear Bobby

I felt little disappointed by your review, as I was expecting detailed insight of yours regarding tough & uneasy question raised by new age bold team.

Best Regards
Vikas Saitya

Bobby Sing

Dear Vikas,
This was not any very fine or polished attempt in my humble opinion.
Cause a polished attempt is the one which along with the questions also tries to give an answer, may be with an indication alone.

This was just a good, well intentioned attempt with some over the top theatrical performances too that is rightly mentioned in my review.

Besides, the truth is that I never write a review of such films if you might have noticed.
I just write what the film makes me write reaching out to me in different measures through its thought provoking content in reality.

If the film would have triggered me well, there would have been something out on the paper.
But since it didn't ...............so the outcome was just that and I was literally helpless.

Cheers! 

mustafa
I am ready to pay 65 or 100 rs for such content online. but surely dont want to feed multiplex owners.
i hope such kind of non commercial content directly release online in coming yrs...
or they must release it on paid apps, like eros.
where one has to pay for subscription.
Bobby Sing

We certainly need many more friends willing to pay online for good movies Mustafa.
And the support is sure to bring in the revolution in the coming times soon.

Cheers!

 

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