Mulk Movie Review: A Powerfully Moving Courtroom Drama
A fan of John Grisham books since my college days, I have always loved courtroom dramas and needless to say, the trailer of Mulk had made me quite curious, though I was somewhat sceptical too as director Anubhav Sinha’s last couple of films Tum Bin 2 and Gulaab Gang were box-office duds. However, having seen ‘Mulk’, I can say that Sinha has redeemed himself beyond all doubts... Set in Benaras, Mulk revolves around Murad Ali Mohammad (Rishi Kapoor), a retired lawyer who stays with his wife and his younger brother Bilal (Manoj Pahwa) and his family and dotes on his daughter-in-law Aarti Mohammad (Taapsee Pannu). When Bilal’s son Shahid (Prateik Babbar) ends up perpetrating a bomb blast after being radicalised, Anti-Terrorism Squad officer Danish Javed (Rajat Kapoor) shoots him down in an encounter and drags his father Bilal to jail on charges of conspiracy. Now, it is up to Murad and Aarti to team up and save Bilal and the reputation of their family. But because they are Muslims and have been branded ‘jihadis’, the stakes are much, much higher. Rishi Kapoor, who has been wowing us ever since his second innings, is wonderfully restrained and dignified as Murad Ali while Taapsee is absolutely impressive as Aarti, who can be soft-spoken and gentle but also feisty as and when the situation demands it. Manoj Pahwa, who has mostly played comic roles in his career, has given a masterful performance as Bilal and his vulnerability will make your heart go out to him. Prateik Babbar is quite average but it was Rajat Kapoor, who pleasantly surprised us as we could never imagine the urbane and suave Rajat playing a tough-as-nails cop. Ashutosh Rana as the Public Prosecutor is somewhat caricaturish while Kumud Mishra as the wry judge is a delight to watch... Mulk is certainly one of the most hard-hitting films I have come across in recent times and I would not hesitate to include it in the list of stalwart courtroom dramas like Damini and Pink. Through the film, Sinha raises some pertinent questions about ‘mazhab’, Islamophobia and patriotism. Sinha deserves kudos for not pulling any punches in the narrative and for lacing the film with powerful dialogues that will evoke appreciative claps. Another element I liked about the film was that it does not bend over backwards in an attempt to appease any particular community, but rather encourages both sides to engage in a rational dialogue. The climax of the film, wherein Taapsee’s character takes up the reins of the defence and delivers a powerfully moving speech, is certainly one of the highlights of the film and I salute Sinha for his writing. The film has been shot well too and DOP Ewan Mulligan deserves appreciation for making the film look real and gritty. Do yourself a favour this weekend and go watch ‘Mulk’...
Release Date : 03 August 2018
Director : Anubhav Sinha
Genre : Drama