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Rubaru Roshni Movie Review: It Is Powerful Enough To Change Your Life

Rubaru Roshni

Documentary Produced  by Aamir Khan  & Kiran Rao

Directed  by Svati Chakravarti Bhatkal

Rating; *****(5 stars)

 This Republic Day,  it wasn’tAkshay  Kumar who tried telling us about the value of being Indian. It was  Aamir Khan who according to me, is  the  most adventurous  superstar of Indian cinema. He makes movies that  make,yes,  money and  yet they also  make us think hard and reconsider  our priorities as Indians and  global citizens.

 Rubaru Roshni  is   the most valuable  lesson on  human compassion and  empathy that  you are going to carry home from  a movie….but then  again , this masterpiece  on humanism comes directly to  your  homes.So we have the opportunity to carry the  message  of absolution in places that are not tangible.

Even if  I had to trudge  to  the  nearest movie theatre  to see  this, I’d only be thankful  for the  opportunity to witness  a film  so  oozing passion  it was, to me, a religious  experience.

 Rabaru Roshni tells  three  harrowing and healing  stories of loss and reconciliation  all bound together  by one thought: forgiveness.Avantika Maken’s  bitter rage  and uncontrollable  grief spills  over on camera as  she recounts that fateful day  when as  little  child she  got to know her parents politician Lalit Malken  and his wife whose to die with him, were brutally slayed  by a Punjabi militant.

Every single detail of  that blood-soaked morning  comes  spilling out in a  stream  of  cataclysmic consciousness. And then there is  the  other side. The disturbingly softspokken Sikh assassin Kuki who  tells  his  story of what  it is like to  let rage take over your better judgememt.

No, we are  not  confused. Only bewildered at the ironies that  govern human life. That  Avantika Maken opts to  forgive her father’s killer is just the twist in this tale of Kafkaesque conviction where the  perpetrator and  the  victim coalesce into a frightening  clasp of moral  ambivalence.

As  the compassionate  nun Sister Rani Maria assassin Samundar  says  in the second  story, “She is large-hearted  enough to forgive me . But it’s impossible for me  to forgive myself as long as I live.”

This  saga  of  a brutal  murder and  the murdered woman’s sister’s reconciliation with the  murderer ,  replete  with a rakshabandhan scene, plays out like a hammy  third-rate  melodrama. Except that  it’s just the opposite. Very often the drama of doom  plays out at pitch where everything begins to  seem unreal, somewhat  shrill and  hysterical.

What does it take  to  let go of hatred, to  tell the man  who shattered  and  wounded  your life  permanently, those three most difficult words  in  the English language,  ‘I forgive you’ ?  Very often as I  watched Rubaru Roshni I  broke down as  I saw shattered  ruptured  permanently wounded lives mending  themselves , because  otherwise there  is only hatred.And  a blur of  grief and  anger.

The  third story  of  an American woman Kia Scherr travelling to Mumbai,the city where her husband and daughter lost their lives in the 9/11 terror attack, is the only  story here where culpability  is not pinned down to a name and a face. It’s like watching a woman grieve  for a loss that no one   is accountable for.She can’t  ‘forgive’  because there is  no one to accept her  forgiveness.

Profoundly moving Rubaru Roshni  must be seen  by the largest  audience possible.In a  world  largely  infested by hatred and misogyny   here is  a film that that tells us of  a way out of  the  gauntlet of malevolence and  vendetta that we have  built  on  our planet. 

Try  compassion. It is  highly therapeutic.

There is  really no excuse to miss this.

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