Tahaan. Movie Review

Tahaan. I voted for this movie because of Santosh Sivan. And got much more than Santosh Sivan and his wizardy with the camera. The cast, storyline, fantastic acting, subtle music all played their part.  More details here.

Tahaan is a story thats set in Kashmir.  It again, has no songs with a thousand human beings providing the backdrop , and no stunt sequences decked with Tata Sumos flying up in the air. No second track ‘comedy’ (sic) !  And all characters in the movie are fully clothed. So.  

The film is about reality, possibilities, choice, love and life itself. 

Well, for all of the above, would you be surprised to know that the story centers around a donkey. Well, a boy and his donkey! I would be.   

An assortment of carefully laid out sequences capture the  journeys of a boy, his love ( for his donkey) and the realities of modern day Kashmir in a tapestry that breezily weaves its way into our hearts & to our minds as well. 

Current day realities of the valley present itself in the form of the military & the accompanying militancy, guns, bullets, deserted homes of Kashmiri Pundits, identity parades, grenades. These are presented befitting the line that meets our eyes before the movie rolls on : all characters in the movie are fictitious & the incidents are non-fictitious

All the same, to me the movie seemed to let out a subtle scream for all conflicts. Or rather, for all people involved in conflicts that are not their own. Kashmir, Iraq, Bosnia Sri Lanka and so on. Where children and their futures can sucked into the vortex with ease that can put the best vacuum cleaners to shame.  

A particular exchange stays fresh. The child asks, ‘who owns the mountains?’ The answer he gets is that we dont own the mountains, but it is the mountains who own us. We pass on and they stay ! ( I want to add, but it is ‘for’ them that we fight.  Sigh )!

The movie endures. Not leaning on populism, propoganda or empty nationalism, the film is a moving depiction of the state of the valley through the eyes of young Tahaan and his realities. The realities of a wide eyed eight your old boy !

Breathtaking visuals.  Interesting portrayals. The simplicity of the story.  Words of wisdom. Factual presentation.  All left us a shaken and stirred. On our way back, we talked about the movie and our own recollections of such other stories of strife. And we remind ourselves that we need to do something. Our bit. 

Long after a movie is over, if the scenes stay with you & you are stirred to action, there cant be a better compliment !  

Do catch a watch. 

6 thoughts on “Tahaan. Movie Review

  1. Ms Cris says:

    That was a neat review. Its at times like this I wish I knew Hindi! Sigh.

  2. Pearl says:


    I am going to try to see this movie. Your review of it was stirring — if the movie is only half of what you say, it will be worth the search for it.

    I agree with you, that we need reminders to keep us focused on what is real. There are so many distractions.


  3. manuscrypts says:

    and i chose ‘ a wednesday’ which didn’t disappoint either 🙂

  4. HOBO says:

    Cinemotography must be brilliant.

  5. Kavi says:

    Ms Cris : Yes..i started out with a faltering understanding of Hindi as well ! But now, i can follow better. In any case, this movie is tender and can reach beyond language

    Pearl : Thank you ! Its a neat movie and if you can catch a watch, that would be real cool !

    Manu : We had a real debate about Wednesday and Tahaan. Santosh sivan tilted the scales !

    Hobo :yes. Simply cool ! So are the other stuff in the movie..

  6. Jeevan says:

    Ho, its sounds different much realism and wanted to watch it soon. I feel sure there is a visual treat!

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