Filmistaan Movie Review: Filmy Humor Meets ‘Kabul Express’
When a film's promo conveys something and you get to see something else, more often than not you feel cheated. Thankfully, despite the fact that there is a huge difference between the promo and the actual product, you don't feel disappointed. Yes, you do hunt for an out and out comic outing, something that the Filmistaan had promised all through its promotional campaign. However, even as the eventual product actually steps into Indo-Pak relationship zone and also gets a tad serious, so much so that the finale is totally into action and drama space, you still don't mind giving Filmistaan a dekko.
This means though that a chunk of shots that are seen in the film's promo are actually consumed in the first 15-20 minutes of the film. Sharib Hashmi's characterization of a film buff is well explained and you do root for him in a major way from the very beginning. However, soon after, the film steps more into a Kabul Express zone which does take one away from the core of Filmistaan (which was expected on the basis of the promo) and an altogether different storyline ensues.
This also has a lot to do with the Taliban factor which is common to both the films. Moreover, the rugged terrains, hostage drama, endless deserts, trigger happy terrorists, hapless situation of the locals - all of it bring 'Filmistaan' into a war zone instead of a filmy zone that had earlier seemed on cards. Still, the reason why one pretty much persists with the film and enjoys its playing time as well is the man who drives the show - Nitin Kakkar.
It is clear that the director has his heart in the right place. This is apparent in the fact that 'Filmistaan' is one of those rare films that don't have a single female protagonist, even in a small role, and instead plays on the camaraderie of Sharib with a Pakistani villager with a heart of gold, Inaamullaq. Together, they find a reason to smile at any and every situation, even as the terrorist (Kumud Mishra) threatens to sniff out life from them at any given moment.
Of course, one sees the humane side of affairs from another terrorist (Gopal Datt) which is very well integrated into the film's plot right from start till the end. Now that's wonderful news indeed because he is the same man who had been seen in an altogether different avtar (as a comic actor) in Samrat & Co. where he had come across as a clone of Vinay Pathak. But here, he comes on his own.
Coming back to Filmistaan, one expects a lot of filmy batein and tidbits right through the film and one does get that as well, even if not enough to fulfill your hunger. Still, the very mention of numerous Bollywood actors, the nostalgia which is invoked through Salman Khan's Maine Pyaar Kiya [even though the sequence just refuses to end!], the mimicry of Bollywood actors done by Sharib, the auditions that follow [could have been funnier though] - one enjoys these moments on screen. One wishes though that the promo hadn't revealed most of the cheeky lines from the film!
Nevertheless, the film isn't without its clichés. The whole sequence of a Pakistani man longing for Amritsar and an Indian rooting for Lahore has been done to death, and as a matter of fact was also seen in almost as-is manner a few weeks back in Vijay Raaz's Kya Dilli Kya Lahore. Also, at places one feels that the film is just not moving, and that could well have been avoided, considering the fact that the eventual duration of the film is merely two hours. A couple of sequences appear a tad unbelievable too, especially the one where Sharib manages to escape along with a group of villagers.
Still, as an overall entertainer which carries a message of films, music and cricket uniting India and Pakistan, Filmistaan works as at least a blatant attempt at thrusting something down your throat isn't made. Moreover, as performers, Sharib, Innamulhaq [who comes on his own in the second half], Kumud Mishra and Gopal Datt do really well, which keeps the flag high for Filmistaan.
Now if only the film was a lot more humorous with lesser dose of drama and action, it would have been an even more engaging entertainer.
Release Date : 06 June 2014
Director : Nitin Kakkar
Genre : Drama