The Kashmir Files (2022/ Drama/ Cinema Release)
Director – Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri
Writers – Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri, Saurabh M Panday
Cast – Anupam Kher, Mithun Chakroborty, Pallavi Joshi, Darshan Kumar, Prakash Belawadi, Puneet Issar, Chinmay Mandlekar
Some films are so important in terms of their content that they surpass the normal cinematic lenses through which we assess a film.
The Kashmir Files is one such powerful film and I think it being well made adds to its impact.
With a narrative that goes back and forth between present day and 1990 Kashmir, it centres around one family but gives a wider and grim picture of what the Kashmiri Pandits went through.
Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri garners a great set of actors, powerful dialogues and a heartfelt intensity to come forth with this bold story that is certainly not meant to entertain you.
On the contrary, it makes you extremely uncomfortable, and at times even breathless and nauseous.
But he’s unrelenting. It seems he had made up his mind to not only take up cudgels against whatever and whoever were shielding the truth but also to jolt the people out of their comfort zones.
As a dialogue in the film says, the second genocide happened when people forgot all about the first genocide. This film will make sure that no one will ever forget what happened to the Kashmiri Pandits in 1990.
The actors, their intense performances, their accents and the real Kashmir locations add to the authentic feel.
The dialogues are very well written, impactful and specially the ones that lay threadbare the war of narratives, Info-wars, media manipulation, the game of brain washing the youth, their misguided revolutionary mindset, power of politics, they leave a resounding impression on your mind.
Darshan Kumar, Anupam Kher give an impassioned performance.
Liked the subtle portrayal by Mithun Chakraborty. His tired and defeated body language and gait were noteworthy.
But out of all, I found Pallavi Joshi as the radical, zealous fundamentalist most impressive.
The film doesn’t tow to unnecessary tropes like jingoism or songs to enhance the emotional impact which is appreciable. But at times there were portions that seem dragged and perhaps the film could have been short by about 15-20 min.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t lessen it’s hold on you. It leaves you numb and is sure to stay on your mind much longer than you would want.
The film is powerful, bold, harsh and extremely important.
It brings forth the truth around Kashmir politics and highlights the plight of Kashmiri Pandits.
If you think Kashmir is an integral part of India and you must know its story, then I believe its a must watch for you!