October 19, 2020

‘Mee Raqsam’ is a contemporary masterpiece – columns

I’m not a movie buff. If somebody praises a film, I’d make an effort to catch it, however there are extra good movies I miss than I get to see. That’s as true of Hollywood as it’s of Bollywood or every other cinematographic forest for that matter!

Nevertheless, I positively know what I would like from a movie. A gripping story, shifting appearing, a couple of fairly faces and heart-stirring feelings. After I get all of that, I’m riveted to the display screen. It’s unimaginable to distract me. If, as well as, it’s a tear-jerker, I’m rapidly decreased to floods. There are various films I’ve cried by way of, even in cinema halls with folks wanting sideways and questioning what’s happening.

Effectively, there’s a film I noticed final Sunday which has all of this and much more. It’s known as Mee Raqsam. That’s Urdu for “I Dance”. It’s a easy light story that overwhelms you because the movie performs out. Though it has a heroic ending, the anguish and anger you’re feeling isn’t completely erased. It’s nonetheless there when your tears of rage flip to tears of happiness because the credit begin to roll.

Mee Raqsam is the story of a younger Muslim woman, born and introduced up in an Uttar Pradesh village known as Mijwan, who has a fascination for Bharatanatyam and needs to study the dance. Within the eyes of the village’s Muslim elders, that is heresy. In actual fact, for them it’s tantamount to a betrayal of Islam and the honour of the Muslim group. Then again, the Hindu patron of the Bharatanatyam academy she joins isn’t any much less exhausting and merciless. For him little Mariam’s ardour is proof that Hindu tradition will conquer Islam. That’s what issues to him. Not her expertise nor her story.

Thankfully, Mariam’s father, a widowed village tailor, brilliantly performed by Danish Hussain, is loving, understanding and supportive, even when the group, together with his late spouse’s family, flip their backs on him. His enterprise suffers and shrivels however his help for his 10-year-old daughter by no means falters.

There are occasions when this story has echoes of Billy Elliot, a fascinating story of a Yorkshire coalminer’s son who defies the pit group’s traditions and learns ballet. Each movies will be considered as commentaries on the prejudices of their instances. To an Indian viewers, the British movie might really feel distant however Baba Azmi’s Mee Raqsam is not going to. It tellingly illustrates and illuminates the deepening Hindu-Muslim fissures that appear to be tearing our nation aside.

But, I might say the power of Mee Raqsam isn’t what it says of our attitudes and our society — although it speaks about that very eloquently — however what it reveals of the love between a father and his daughter. This treasured relationship is handled with out false sentimentality and, mercifully, with out the Hollywood behavior of overegging the story.

It’s the little issues in life that may imply a lot and that’s why it’s the little moments of affection — the look on a face, the contact of a hand, the smile on a bit of woman’s lips — that may transfer you to tears. Love is a giant story and it has no ending however the paradox is it’s finest informed with just some phrases and the occasional expression. That’s the place this film turns into a masterpiece.

I think the makers and promoters of this movie — and the record has Shabana Azmi’s title on the very prime — supposed for the film’s political message to be the one the viewers takes dwelling. Little question it’s an vital one. It must be heard and repeated. Certainly, even that may not be sufficient. However whenever you see the film, it’s the sweetness and magic of the love between a father and his daughter that you’re sure to recollect. Politics recedes, because it all the time ought to. Love triumphs as, hopefully, it all the time will.

In the event you take my recommendation and see this film, I don’t assume you’ll remorse doing so.

Karan Thapar is the creator of Satan’s Advocate: The Untold Story

The views expressed are private