Mee Raqsam means “I dance”.
This beautiful film, revolving around a little girl who aspires to learn classical dance, is an adorable story that portrays how love for an art form knows no boundaries. It portrays an endearing father daughter bonding and their resolve to live life on their own terms.
It’s an earnest story about standing upto religious intolerance, prejudices and narrow mindsets right in your face.
Cast – Aditi Subedi, Danish Hussain, Naseeruddin Shah, Shraddha Kaul
Director – Baba Azmi
Teenager Mariam(Aditi) is passionate about dance and aspires to learn Bharatnatyam, a love she got from her late mother.The motherless girl is doted upon by her father Salim (Danish),a tailor by profession and they share an adorable relationship. They make a humble living in a small town called Mijwan. When Salim decides to send her to a Bharatnatyam school, all hell breaks loose in the closed community life of the town.Besides severe backlash from his family and religious/ community leaders ,the father daughter duo also experience antagonism from few in the other community. But they have their resolve and few others to stand by them. Watch the film to see their brave journey and how Mariam lives her dream.
Shot in the little town of Mijwan, home town of famous Urdu poet Kaifi Azmi, the film fulfills his dream of a film being made there.The film is a well meaning tribute and the central message of artistic love being out of bounds of cultural or religious confines is well meant. The film starts on a very promising note and builds up the little world of Mariam and Salim very well.I must say that Aditi Subedi’s and Danish Hussain ’s wonderful performance had a lot to do with it. Their bonding welled up the heart.Mariam’s emotions ,her love and the craving for classical dance, her initial hesitation and restrain ,the spring in her walk when she gets to do what she loves, her angst when she misses her mother , create moments that pulled the heart strings.
When Mariam and Salim start facing the backlash, that’s when the screenplay and writing starts to feel a little cliched and repetitive.While none of the unpleasant facts and behaviours portrayed are undeniable, some of the characters seems caricature-ish. I feel the writing had scope to be finer. But the issues raised are so relevant , the stereotypes shown so real that you honestly wish for things to change.
Danish Hussain ,whom we have seen in small roles so far, gets to showcase his impressive scope. His portrayal of a soft-spoken loving man dealing with harshness and fanaticism in a quiet but resolute way evoked respect and sympathy. Would look forward to see him in meatier roles.
Aditi is beautiful and very real with her innocence and zeal. As a character and as an actor she’s the heart of the film. She could have worked better on her dance form though.
Shraddha Kaul is one actress I would look forward to seeing.Have seen her minor glimpses in some scenes of Breathe and this is the second time I have watched her onscreen and I must say I find her mighty impressive.
It might not be a flawless film but it’s definitely one that has its heart in the right place. It engages well in its short duration of 1hr35 min. It not only prompts to let go of religious and sectarian prejudices but also once again highlights that if Mahabir Phogats, Anup Saxenas and Salims decide to be the air beneath the wings of their daughters , nothing can stop the girls from living their dreams. With its good central leads, it’s an endearing film with a well meaning message that deserves a watch.
Score 6 on 10