Starring – Mohammad Amir Naji, Shahnawaz Bhat, Reza Nazi, Shamim Basharat
Director – Aamir Bashir
Banner – Chasingtales
Genre – Drama
Rating – *** 1/2
By Kreative Access Media
A lot has been said & written about the “state” of Kashmir. Almost every Indian has a say when the topic of discussion is Kashmir. There are also numerous films & documentaries made on the same but all have failed to do justice in presenting the actual state of affairs in the “Heavenly” state of the country. However, “Harud” is something fresh; it subtly presents the “Jahannam” which prevails in the so-called “Jannat”. One reason for the film being so precise in its narration is the director Aamir Bashir’s proximity to Kashmir as he was born & raised in the valleys.
“Harud” is based on the missing people in Kashmir, a topic which has often been neglected even by the media. It is the story of a family which has been directly affected by the insurgency in Kashmir. Rafiq (Shahnawaz Bhat) resides in Kashmir with his parents. And together, they are coping with the sudden disappearance of his brother, Tauqir. They live their lives on-the-edge everyday with almost no sense of security. Under these circumstances, Rafiq aspires of being a photographer & intends to view the world from a different perspective, one which is not so gloomy. The film has incorporated incidences which have never seen the light of day. And this authenticity is what makes it so special.
The performances are flawless, just like the film. Shahnawaz Bhat has done a decent job as Rafiq. Also, Reza Naji who plays Rafiq’s father in the film is splendid as usual. His performances in Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi’s “Children of Heaven”, “The Song of Sparrows” & “Baran” are proof of his brilliance. Also, the Silver Bear he received at the Berlin Film Festival is a testimony of the actor’s genius. The others too, have played their parts well. “Harud” is not a documentary but it manages to impart priceless knowledge to the audience, such is the script of the film. Aamir Bashir has done an exceptional job as a director & one never feels that “Harud” is his debut film. Also, there are neither songs nor dance, but it doesn’t take away the engaging factor from the audience. The cinematography is good & sticks to the concept of the film without displaying the scenic beauties of the valley which is something refreshing.
Overall, “Harud” is a must watch for all those who prefer more than mere entertainment in cinema. However, this does not mean that the others should miss it. It is obviously one of a kind film, which has been made with pure emotions & incorporating authenticity at the optimum level. It’s a major disappointment that films like these don’t reach the masses just because the makers have neither stars nor the crores of rupees to spend on marketing. So, given a chance, do catch “Harud” at a theatre near you. You never know how long it takes for a film like this to be made in India.