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Bollywood Movie Reviews

72 Hoorain Is Not What You Think



Rating: ***

Kisi begunaah ko mar ke jannat nahin milni,” screams Pavan Malhotra  towards the end of this 1 hour 20 minute peculiar parable on the  spirit and subversions of  jihad.

Does a man who kills in the name of religion get to go Heaven and, extending the  parable of unattainable  paradise,  are there seventy two  lovely women , the  seductive hoors, waiting to attend to the martyred jihadi?

The  answer to  the above is  so glaring in its unambiguousness that  you wonder how young recruits to the cause of terrorism fall for it.

Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan’s  chamber-piece moves out of the traditional boundaries of the genre into the wide open where two jihadis Bilaal(Amir Bashir) and Hakim(Pavan Malahotra) have  lately  played the  self-destructive  roles  of suicide  bombers  and are now  waiting for paradise to  take them  in.

As their wait increases and the frustration and rage grows in tandem, Bahattar Hoorain grows  from a cautionary tale  to a stark wry brutal exploration of terrorism and the common man. Unlike  Kashmir Files  or Kerala Story, there is no underlining flavor of Islamophobia in  the  contextual directions  and cultural discourse  chosen  in the  storytelling.

The  stark storyline  moves  in episodes  where the two friends, Pakistani jihadis in India to blow of the India Gate,   converse over their promised paradise.Both Pavan Malhotra  and Amir Bashir are  fine actors capable of lifting the most pedantic sequence  above its allotted ambit. Here, the  narrative has no buttress to  lift the  basic  drama  into something  nasty and  regressive.The two actors are very much on their own. They make the best of  their stagey source-material.

What  we see here is what we get. What I liked about Bahattar Hoorain is that the toxicity  comes from within the two protagonists and their tenets and beliefs,   and has nothing to do with  any  other community.

It is  a curiously selfcontained  world  where  thought processes may seem alien to  the outsider, but are perfectly in-harmony with  the  mind and  spirit of the insider. The  most  fascinating  feature of the intriguing oddball  of a film is the cinematography by Chirantan Das. In black-and-white  , colour pops up  in spurts , like  an explosion or a fire  on the street.Or that odd traffic light which you may not even notice. In one sequence showing a deserted  terror-hit street we see three trashbins in colour; elsewhere a   little  girl’s red  dress lights up an other-wise colourless frame.

Bahattar Hoorain  is not the third part of  the  trilogy  after Kashmir Files  and Kerala story. If the truth be told, Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan’s capricious take on a pair of bombers’  post-death  disillusionment is  a free-willed  beast of  its own. Not everyone’s cup of tea. But it tells us why we must wake up and smell the real kafir.

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