Movie Reviews

Sargoshiyan Is A Well-Intended Look At Kashmir’s As Paradise: Movie Review

Starring: Imran  Khan, Hasan Zaidi, Inderneil Sengupta, Sara Khan

Directed by: Imran Khan & Vijay Verma

It takes guts to continue to believe in the Kashmir that once was paradise.Or, as  the Voice Of India Lata Mangeshkar sang, Kitnikhubsoorat yeh  tasveer hai mausam bemisal benazeer hai yehKashmir hai…”

It is with some such paradaisical  idealism in the head and lots of noble intentions in the heart that we enter into  into the head-in- the- clouds world of Sargoshiyan a fairytale rendition of Kashmir where militancy is  a distant nightmare and  Kashmiri Pandits co-exist with  the Kashmiri Muslims…And Santa Claus is getting  ready for next  Christmas.

The closest we come to  gun shots and  militancy in Sargoshiyan  is through the character of an affable Kashmiri widow(Farida Jalal,as delightfully benevolent as ever) who has lost her son and now spends her time  spreading sunshine in travellers’ lives.

Quite like the makers of the film who seem to be believe all is well in the world and that militancy can be wiped away with goodwill and bhaichaara . This rose-tinted view of  a bloodied reality is welcome  on a fairytale level.So we have two protagonists a photojournalist(Indraneil Sengupta) and his existentially disoriented more-or-less moorless pal Aryan Raina(Hasan Zaidi) , a local tourist  guide Imran (Khan, the producer of this film) and a  research scholar Sheena Oberoi(Sara Khan)    on a  road trip  to discover “the real Kashmir”.

The  various cameo appearances by Farida Jalal, Alok Nath, Tom Alter and Shahbaaz Khan make a scant impact. What stays with us is  the panoramic shots of Kashmir’s natural beauty, still so stunning  still so inviting, still so….still and  tranquil.We really don’t need a tourist-brochure masquerading as a movie to remind us of  the breathtaking  beauty of   Kashmir—our dear beloved bleeding Heaven On Earth.

The makers of Sargoshiyan have their collective heart  in the right place. But the narrative is strangled by sweetness , thwarted by the postcard-pretty view of like in the violent Valley and finally felled by some awful acting. Shahbaz Khan’s dialectic  Kashmiri accent and his hamming over his physically disabled daughter provide some unintentional  comic relief .

Sargoshiyan means well. But so , I am sure,  did Kamal R Khan when he made Deshdrohi.

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