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FIR: The Innocent Terrorist Theme Gets A Middling Treatment




FIR(Tamil, Amazon Prime)

Irfan, An innocent Muslim chemical engineer with an ordinary life, is caught in inexplicable circumstances, when accused of being a most-wanted terrorist, that alter his life & everyone around him.

Rating: **

FIR Movie Review: Ifran is  an Ahmed. And he is  not  a terrorist. Yes, we  got that. Not all Muslims are terrorists, and  so  and so forth.

 At a time when Vivek Agnihotri’s  The Kashmir Files clearly shows the  victim from the other side of the communal fence, Manu  Anand takes the pseudo-liberal  view.He goes to great lengths—and this film  does appear lengthy although it is  just  a  little more  than two hours in length—to show  the demonization of  the  community through an individual’s journey from  a mother-loving  devout Muslim to a  suspected terrorist.

I am  afraid the  journey is not  undertaken with  the sensitivity and  meticulousness that  it demanded. At the  end  I was not convinced  of Irfan’s  innocence, and that’s the worst thing the film could do to a terror suspect.

Just by playing plaintive  songs about  the merciful  God at twist and turn in the plot seems  like  an  enforced gimmick to propagate communal  trust, as if  punctuation marks were being pushed into  an essay  to make  it more  lively after the  bell for  writing the examination paper is over.

Irfan  Ahmed is  played with a regrettable lackluster that’s concealed in  a beard  and lots of screaming and hysteria by  Vishnu Vishal. The process of  targeting Irfan Ahmed  who is suspected of being a  globally wanted terrorist Faizal Ibrahim  Raeez(hence the acronym  FIR, get it?)  is  not only hurried and  haphazard  it is highly unconvincing and  filled with loopholes. When  Irfan loses his cellphone during  security check  at  an  airport  the  mobile ends up soon  after at the site of a bomb blast nearby, thereby clinching  Irfan’s fate.

 Was  he being framed? Why is  it that  when  Irfan is  mercilessly interrogated  by  a hijab-veiled National Intelligence Agency officer Anisha (Raza  Wilson) we  don’t  feel his fear? Rather  than pull into  Irfan’s terrifying  circumstance FIR  pushes us  away  further and further from the crisis  so that Irfan’s plea of innocence falls not only on deaf ears in the  film but also leave us cold and indifferent.

We  never  feel Irfan’s pain even when  his police-constable mother(Parvathi T)  is humiliated and  suspended  from her job. There is an utterly ridiculous sequence where Irfan rushes  into the hospital  to  see his ailing mother, screaming and ranting while police officers are everywhere.

 Through all this torture ,Vishnu  Vishal as  the terror suspect remains  bogged down by shoddy characterization and a  scruffy script over-burdened with technical details on  terror activities but meager  emotional resonance.

 Irfan’s   girlfriend played  by  Manjima Mohan conveniently  practices   law though we can’t see how she  can rescue  her boyfriend from doom when evidence  piles  up against him throughout.

FIR has  its heart  in the right place. The director  genuinely cares  for the  plight of the innocent Muslim  who is  suspected  of terrorism. And so do we. But it is not enough to  care. The  care  must be  compounded  by a brish  crackling  plot  which keeps  the  terror-accused  in the  net  of the law  but  lets  us know that he won’t be there long.

  FIR  offers  us no such  comfort. And we  really don’t give a  damn.

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