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|Index||27 reviews in total|
Cinematographer, Vic sarin's camera work takes this wonderful love story to a higher plain. His sweeping vistas, a heartwarming story and a comment on religious intolerance..all add up to make one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. Jimi Mistri and Kristin Keruk give outstanding performance with Neve Campbell playing the sympathetic British subject during the time of the raj. Set in India during the partition of Indian and Pakistand in 1947, this movie is timely in its focus on the trouble that surround our world today. I found that the story, written by Sarin, does not point a finger of blame on either side, simply comments on the the death and suffering that 'religion' has brought to the world since the beginning of mankind.
The whole theater broke into applause at the end. Partition is
spectacular, intense and well made all 'round. The actors all shine,
the photography is excellent and the story is well told. It gives great
insight into the creation of Pakistan and it's break from India in the
While Canadians have made some great movies of late and a lot of talent comes out of Canada, many of their movies are small stories (with the exception of Atom Agoyan's films) but as a movie, this for us is probably the best move ever made in Canada, and one of the best we've seen from anywhere this year. I hope it gets wide distribution.
Purists who were up in arms about Chinese actresses playing Japanese
characters like in Memoirs of the Geisha will probably flip again at
the portrayals of Indians by non-Indian actors, and could cite again
similar examples whether the country of origin lacked capable actors to
pull the roles off (Of course not, this is Bollywood we're talking
about, certainly no lack of actors). But hey, this is a Canadian
production, and those detractors were likely to have some axe to grind
with Hollywood-ized versions of such movies, leaving this movie alone.
Or maybe the subject matter explored here outweighed such negative,
meaningless, counterproductive thoughts and arguments.
Journeying back to the time of the British withdrawal from India, one of the policies introduced during the independence, is this little handiwork done by the British, which had the population at the time segregate themselves into Hindu India, and Muslim Pakistan. This led to migration of scores of people to either side of the partitioning, and with it came religious tensions, and mindless massacres from both sides. This movie through its narrative was no holds barred on this criticism, even though it too boiled down to misunderstandings and intolerance from both groups of people.
Partition is a movie that I recommend, even though it's draped with heavy melodrama. Perhaps it's because it's a Romeo and Juliet type of story, with our protagonists not from feuding families, but from different religions. Gian Singh (Jimi Mistry) is an ex-soldier serving in the British army, and in his retirement from war, he returns to his village to seek a certain peace from within, after making a decision during the war which he has yet come to terms with. One day, he rescues Naseem Khan (Kristin Kreuk) from a massacre by the Sikhs on the Muslims who were en route to Pakistan, and shields her from his fellow men when they bayed for her blood.
As you might have guessed, the two will fall in love amid the background of violence, and their love will transcend religion, culture, and intolerance. Or will it? There are two acts in this movie, which I thought the second was somewhat hastened, given the idyllic pace which the first had dwelled in, sharing its rich cinematography by writer-director Vic Sarin. The story's development too moved into its fastest gear, especially in the finale which was what one would expect, and yes there were sniffles amongst the audience. What I thought was treaded quite superficially (and I suppose it was perhaps on purpose) was the dealing of religion, that it can be flipped flopped so easily. Perhaps herein laid a message that love will transcend that as well, given that after all, God is also about love?
Like how The Namesake made me sit up and take notice of Kal Penn, Partition had the same effect for Jimi Mistry. Best known for his comedic The Guru role in which he plays a "sexpert", he's almost unrecognizable under that thick beard, and gave a very strong performance as a man haunted by his past, and finding a future with a loved one, willing to make extreme sacrifices for his family. Kristin Kreuk, in her second movie outing after her bimbotic role in Eurotrip, brings a more Smallville's Lana Lang-ish appeal to her character here, as she pines for the loves of her life, and lets those tears roll. No, she doesn't look a bit like your typical Pakistani girl, but yes, her beauty helps illuminate the screen. It's strange though to see her try her best to put on a believable accent, and mannerisms right down to head movements, but she looks good in those saris!
I was surprised to see Irfan Khan in a bit role here, having enjoyed his performance also in The Namesake, and Neve Campbell and John Light rounded up the supporting roles, with Neve's Margaret Stilwell a character whom I thought was a tragic one, no doubt if you interpreted as her still holding onto the candle for Gian, without him realizing, probably consciously aware that their status and skin colour are too different to have resulted in anything fruitful.
With a one track beautiful theme song, lush sceneries, and wonderful performances, Partition is a surprise of the week, and over here, it's two screen release doesn't do it much justice. Should you want to watch a love story set against a historical background which still has repercussions until this very day, then make it a point not to miss this.
This movie was the first I've seen in a theater that was identified as
a Canadian movie. I was hopeful it would be enjoyable, as the trailer
online (never saw one in a theater) was promising. Very solid, very
enjoyable love story with an interesting historical background. The
movie had production levels I expect from standard US made movies but
the storyline was a step above.
To me this movie deserves far more attention than it is getting. I suspect it is a top 10 in Canada at the moment but I've yet to find information on its ticket sales (there were 30 people there for a late-afternoon showing last Saturday).
With so much drek from the states at the moment this was a refreshing change.
Here's an oddball mix: A Canadian film dealing with a Sikh-Muslim love
story set against the partition of India in 1947, with Kristin Kreuk
playing the lead Muslim girl (Naseem), Neve Campbell playing a British
Indian, and everyone from the villagers to the city folk, despite
being mostly uneducated - speaking English of various accent!!! The
director (himself of Kashmiri descent) has SOME gall, I must say.
The camera loves Kreuk, as it should, and surprisingly enough, she gets the physical nuances right. Campbell also gives one of her more subtle performances, but the standout here is Jimi Mistry as the Sikh ex-soldier. The central love story is nothing new (the film seems like a different handling of the loud, crude, jingoistic, and ultimately inferior Indian film Gadar), and no aspect of it covers any new ground. There are some moments of poignancy and warmth, but the director moves the story along with broad strokes, instead of letting it flow and fleshing out the surrounding events. As it stands, it is all quite predictable, and some of the dialogue is atrocious. Many characters (notably Naseem's family) come across as shallow and are simply used as stereotypes, so there goes any complexity that might have been developed.
There are some beautiful shots throughout, and thankfully there are no musical interludes (which would have been likely if the film had been made in Bollywood). The child actor was also good, and I wish we could have seen more of Irrfan Khan than the bit part he plays. The scene where Naseem dances in the rain with only a shirt on, is pure fantasy on the director's part, and nobody kissed that openly back in the 40s and 50s, even married couples. A reality check was in order, Mr. Sarin.
Still, despite the hodge-podge of ideas and unrealistic scenes, the film is watchable, and even moving at times. But it could easily have been much better, and the backdrop of cultural conflict deserves a more in-depth, intelligent handling.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Partition" deals with an important turning point in history (the
division of India and Pakistan along religious lines) and classic theme
(love conquers all). However, it does not succeed as well as Deepa
Mehta's far superior "Earth", which covers the same period.
"Partition" handles the love story between Jian Singh and Naseem in a delicate and sensitive way. Especially beautiful is the scene depicting their wedding night, when they uncover and discover each other. Jian Singh removes Naseem's veil; Naseem unwraps his turban and sees his long, luxurious hair tumbles about his shoulders for the first time.
However, the world around them is portrayed in a clumsy and ham-handed fashion. We are shown the murderous violence that took place in India and Pakistan in 1947, but it is never satisfactorily explained. (By the same token, we are shown joyous celebrations of religious festivals, such as Diwali, but again given no context to help us understand them.) There are several annoying titles at the beginning to provide background. However, this information should have been woven into the dialog.
By the way, the dialog is sometimes drowned out by a score that made me feel like I was watching "Lawrence of Arabia".
The film's denouement is fairly predictable (in slow motion, yet!). There are also some rather jarring implausibilities. In a crucial scene, Naseem's brother delivers a brutal kick that, by rights, should have dislocated Jian Singh's jaw. Yet, in the next breath, a bloodied but unbeaten Jian gives a lengthy set-piece speech about tolerance.
In the end, "Partition" is a nice, neat portrayal of a nasty, messy era. As romance, it rates an A. As history, it gets an F.
Gian Singh (Jimi Mistry) and Avtar Singh (Irrfan Khan)are Indian
officers with the British Army serving under the command of Andrew
Stilwell (Moss), who lives with his sister, Margaret,(Neve Campbell) in
New Delhi . During 1941 the trio find in Burma where Stilwell is
murdered . Both of them go back to their small village in Punjab, where
Gian meets his widowed mother (Jaffrey) . During 1947, after 350 years
of occupying India, the British decide to leave and concede
independence . Millions of Muslims crossed from Pakistan to India and
vice versa , similar number of Hindus, and Sikhs crossed over from the
other side. A group of Muslims who were crossing over to Pakistan are
attacked by a bunch of sword wielding horse-riding Sikhs, and Hindus,
including Avtar (Khan), many are massacred, but some do manage to
getaway. Muslims, in turn, murder all Christians, Hindus, and Sikhs
passengers on a train en-route to India. Meantime , Gian, who refuses
to collaborate in any slaughter , is picking up wood , he comes across
a young Muslim girl names Naseem (Kristin Kreuk), in sheltering , and
decides to hide her . He brings her home with him, and shelter her .
But the villagers do find out, while some want to outrightly murder
her, others want her to leave . Gian asks the villagers to give him
some time to find her family from Pakistan and then send her on her
trace , to which they agree . Later on , Gian seeks the help of Walter
Hankings (John Light) and Margaret, who does her best to liaise with
the Ministry of Unification of Families . In the meantime, Naseem
(Kreuk) befriends people , adapts herself to the village life, and soon
Gian and Naseem fall in love with each other.
It's an enjoyable romance/drama story where duo protagonist is awesome . In an epic and moving tale , as the starring fight the forces that haunt their innocent love, taking on the risks to survive in a world surrounded by hatred . The script relies heavily on the relationship between the two starring but it doesn't originate boring . It's a brilliant romantic story and though is slow-moving isn't tired . Kristin Kreuk is gorgeous with her sweet and attractive countenance. Jimi Mistry is magnificent as ex-officer looking for help and inspiration on the beautiful girl. Lush cinematography woven into a rich and exotic tapestry by the same director Sarin . Sensitive, sensible score, including a musical leitmotif with Hindu motives by Brian Tyler . The picture is finely directed by Vic Sarin , he is an usual director for TV and occasionally for cinema , ¨Partition¨ is the best of them.
The motion picture is correctly based on historic events , these are the following : The actual division between the two new dominions was done according to what has come to be known as the 3 June Plan or Mountbatten Plan.The border between India and Pakistan was determined by a British Government-commissioned report usually referred to as the Radcliffe Line after the London lawyer, Sir Cyril Radcliffe, who wrote it. During 1947, after 350 years of occupying India, the British decide to leave, but not before separating Islamic Pakistan and secular India. Millions of Muslims crossed from India to Pakistan, while an equal number of Hindus, Sikhs, and Christians crossed over from the other side .Pakistan came into being with two non-contiguous enclaves, East Pakistan (today Bangladesh) and West Pakistan, separated geographically by India. India was formed out of the majority Hindu regions of the colony, and Pakistan from the majority Muslim areas. Countries of Modern Indian sub-continent . On 18 July 1947, the British Parliament passed the Indian Independence Act that finalized the partition arrangement. A crowd of Muslims at the Old Fort (Purana Qila) in Delhi, which had been converted into a vast camp for Muslim refugees waiting to be transported to Pakistan. Manchester Guardian, 27 September 1947.The newly formed governments were completely unequipped to deal with migrations of such staggering magnitude, and massive violence and slaughter occurred on both sides of the border. Estimates of the number of deaths range around roughly 500,000, with low estimates at 200,000 and high estimates 1.000.000.
Vic Sarin's Partition is an absolute masterpiece in cinematography, with a compelling continuing story of emotions, historical cultural divides summarized by the human need to love and be loved regardless of the events of the world around us. A masterpiece in independent film-making in epic proportions Vic is an absolute master of his art, through the medium of film he has bought alive the mainly forgotten and least acknowledge problems of the on-going situation on the India and Pakistan borders. His actors are pure actors from the heart and take us on a unforgettable journey as their story unfolds. I was left with a true value of life and everlasting love. Move over Hollywood, this is a must see film ..
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What an amazing breathe of fresh air this film was, following the start
of the summer bandwagon of Rubbish comes a small movie that proves
budget & stars does not always mean success, look at the less promoted
I must admit that i did not realise like i am sure a lot of people the intense hatred between the Sikhs and the Muslims at this period of time. I being white and married to a Indian girl myself had a very big interest in this movie and although i found the film amazing it did not historically shed any light on what i did not know about this point in time. The slaughter of both the Sikhs and Muslims was graphic and the cinematography was fantastic.
The only down side to this spectacular movie was giving a role to Neeve Campbell, the British accent was laughable. Mistry and Kreuk were brilliant with Mistry putting in an alround stunning performance.
The story keeps you entertained the whole time and you do not know what the ending has in store. I being an old romantic was waiting for a happy ending but you see for yourself. I can only strongly recommend this as a must watch film, a stunning film from story, score, performances, i just cannot fault it. You will see little better and a lot worse this year so please go and enjoy this film as thats what cinema is there for, enjoyment.
More films like this should be made and the sexual content should be
removed so younger people can watch it and understand the reason why
people were slaughtered in Pakistan and India.
People were slaughtered for being either Muslim, Sikh or Hindu and Christan's were not spared either. If a Sikh killed a Muslim a Muslim would kill a Sikh. It was a disgusting vicious cycle.
This film really revolves around the central two characters Jimi Mistry, a Sikh and Kristin Kreuk, a Muslim, whom fall in love, at a time when Muslims and Sikh are dividing.
The story follows there love for one another and kind of emphasises the point love is greater than religion or any other divide that segregate people.
Neve Campbell and Irrfan Khan also support the cast superbly.
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