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Starring: Danish Husain, Shradha Kaul, Rakesh Chaturvedi Om

Directed by: Baba Azmi

Written by: Husain Mir, Safdar Mir

What is it about:

The story is based in Mijwan and around a tailor Salim (Danish Husain) and his young daughter, Maryam (Aditi Subedi). Salim’s wife has passed away due to a long illness, leaving them both to love and support each other. Maryam starts showing a lot of love for Bharatnatyam, sparked in her by her mother. She receives all the support and encouragement from her father, who is struggling to make ends meet. Salim faces a huge backlash from his conservative village community which is represented by the girl’s maternal aunt Zehra (Shraddha Kaul). Their bigotry is echoed by the community elders too, including their chief  played by Naseeruddin Shah. He tries dialogue, intimidation, and the classic ‘slurs on the house wall’ moves, to shake Salim’s resolve and stop him from ‘embarrassing’ his community. But still, Salim continues to support her. Maryam’s dance teacher Uma (Sudeepta Singh) is at the receiving end from her academy’s head Jayprakash (Rakesh Chaturvedi Om) for teaching Maryam.  What happens next forms the rest of the film.

What we liked:

The biggest take away from the film is the message it is trying to send out. While it may have its faults, which we will get at later, the heart is in the right place. The film is all about perseverance, love and fight for righteousness. The film maintains a progressive tone in terms of its story telling.  The biggest thing that works for the film is the performance from the actors and the way the characters have been brought alive on the screen. It seems a very raw and natural performance at the core and it works in favour of the film and the tone the film has. The film has been shot well and captures the small town charm in a good manner. The production design comes across as very authentic.

What we didn’t like:

The film is far from reality. It seems more of a fairytale. The bad is ugly and the good is God. There’s no in between. The film would have worked wonders, if it had dealt the hand with a little more subtlety. The writing has been weak but gets the point across. The characters who are flat have only come alive on the screen due to some great performances. The problems and the obstacles and the way the story takes place is very predictable and clichéd.

MEE RAQSAM, now streaming on ZEE5.

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