Saketh Ram's wife is raped and killed during direct action day riots in Calcutta. He is convinced that Mahatma Gandhi is responsible for all the problems happening in the country. He sets out to kill him.
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The film starts with Saketh Ram as a very old man and almost immediately goes into flashback. As a young man he is among his friends, in conviviality. He has taken a Bengali wife, Aparna, and everything is wonderful in his life. But the year is 1946, and the imminent independence of India from British suzerainty is complicated by religious antagonism between the Hindu majority and the large Muslim minority, who demand their own independent state. Saketh and Aparna visit Calcutta; rioting is reported, but Saketh goes out to get some food, and he soon encounters a Hindu woman being chased by Muslim rioters. He rescues her, but the rioters later come to his house, and brutally rape and then kill his wife. Saketh is devastated and takes to the streets, determined personally to kill as many Muslims as he can find. He meets up with Sriram Abhiyankar, who is leading a group of Hindu extremists, and Saketh becomes temporarily taken with the cause himself. At the same time, he is persuaded to ... Written by
Kamal Hasan is a truly great actor and with this film he has cemented his status a talented director. This is an epic film which is extremely thoughtful. It shows how a rationale man can turn into a prujudiced extremist. It shows that hatred for past tragic events will not solve feelings of loss of a loved one. It also shows that compassion and sacrifice are needed in politics rather that populist rabble rousing. This film has been criticized in many quarters for many reasons. People have said that the film focuses on Kamal Hasan too much and that it a self indugent vanity fest. This is unfair considering Mr Kamalji is one of the best actors in India. Also the film is about this person and the imapct on his thinking to tragic surrounding events. The film would not have worked without this intense focus. The film's storyline has been labeled inconsistent. It has been cited that the change to a anti-Islamic Hindu fundamenatlist in Kamal Hasan's character was not explained. If a muslim (who was a loyal servant and friend) had murdered your wife I think most people attitudes to your fellow man would change. The film has a consistent plot. The only critisicm is that perhaps the film was too long but overall a great film which is indeed an experiment with truth.
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