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.