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Gul Makai, Malala’s Song Of Life & Death



The very fact that a  film on Malala Yousafzai   is  being brought to the screen is reason to rejoice. Director H. E  Amjad Khan’s  ambitious  bio-pic Gul  Makai  takes  on the Taliban in the trailer, depicting the barbarism and  brutality with a  vehemence  that  would be  much  appreciated  in today’s  climate  .

But  then of course this  is how it is. This is what happened in Malala’s life. The trailer opens with  Malala’s father the very talented Atul Kulkarni(Malala’s  mother is  also played by  a powerhouse Divya Dutta) asking her father  about Helen Keller, who , says Malala’s progressive dad , was a born fighter.

So  is Malala. The film’s trailer wastes  no time in opening up Malala’s  world of oppression into a universal fight for freedom…The  freedom to be educated, to be freed  from the shackles  of radicalism and  conservatism. Underprivileged  girls are denied  the right to  education in both India  and Pakistan.

They  threw acid  on Aarti Aggarwal’s face. They gunned down Malala . Luckily both  survived. Malala’s inspirational tale  had to be told. I am glad it’s being done, albeit in a language that appears far more  shrill than what Meghna  Gulzar has attempted  in Chhapaak . But that’s okay.High or low notes, it should be  a music  that needs  to be heard. And  Gul Makai makes its point  loud and clear.

Radical  forces  can’t  be  indicted in subtle tones. The tone  adopted in Gul Makai is  aggressive and  raring for a  fight. The  don’t-you-dare-me  attitude  gives the trailer  a  sharp cutting edge even  when  the fundamentalists shot in arching clusters,  are shown as book-burning, beard-espousing   despots.

Gul Makai has an important  message waiting for us  when it releases  on January 31(alongside Saif Ali Khan’s  playboys-will-be-boys   saga Jawani Jaanemanchichorepan intended).

Just  how  deep  the narration will wound  our  desensitized  civilization will depend entirely on  how  much of Malala’s truth the director has brought to the screen  without  losing  sight of  the humanism  the real Malala  so softly yet persuasively espouses.

As for newcomer Reem Sheikh’s Malala act, the debutante seems to be adequately armed with the real Malala’s charm. But would Reem be  able to  hold  the plot together into  a coherent comprehensive  portrait  of a teenager who took on  Taliban?

Trailer Rating: ***(3 stars)

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