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Parzania More at IMDbPro »

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24 out of 29 people found the following review useful:


Author: kingflick from India
8 February 2007

Parzania is easily one of the best movies i've seen in a LONG while. as i watched the movie, my mind was full of respect and admiration for all those who acted and invested in this movie.

first off, it was made brilliantly. the shots, the score.. exquisite. the acting was brilliant too. it was REAL and HONEST and amazingly believable. the movie talks of the events that took place in Gujarat in 2002 on a macro level. at the same time, like in many movies, we are given a local perspective, and this makes for a very personal viewing experience. if you truly do appreciate movies, you'll notice the detail in which this movie and its production has been thought out. everything is symbolic, significant and highly stimulating.

again, the characters are very REAL and make you FEEL for the story. and thats just it. it isn't just a 'story'. it describes what ACTUALLY happened and that itself should hit you hard, right in the chest. the situation is a sensitive one, all the same it has been treated carefully and honestly and made me realize that they have truly used the potential of the medium that is motion picture.

a must-watch. recommend it to your friends and family and be prepared to be FEEL. be prepared for an incredibly REAL and DEEPLY-IMPACTING movie experience.


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21 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Watch it, maybe it will make you want to make a difference!

Author: pandusultan from India
30 January 2007

There were just 20 odd people in a huge cinema hall in Bombay when I watched this film!! More people in India need to watch films like these. And sadly it will probably never be released in the state of Gujrat, where all this took place. This is a heart rending look at the riots in Gujrat that took place in 2002 in "response" to a "terrorist" act in Godhra, Gujrat where a train was burned and supposedly hindus were victimised. This film is based on a true story. Not as graphic as you would imagine, the film portrays the life of a Parsi family whose son was lost in the riots, or may I say organised genocide. The main focus is the family and the loss they suffer as also the apathy or rather the role of the police and the incumbent government in the massacre of thousands of Muslims/non hindus. The sub plot deals with an American PHD student doing a thesis on Gandhi, and his own journey of self realisation, dealing with his alcoholism and his painful past. All actors have done a wonderful job. The director, himself a Hindu (Gujrati) has done a wonderful job, and kudos to him for fighting all the opposition he probably did face while making this film.

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13 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Parzania-----An emotional tide....

Author: rock831983 from India
21 May 2007

Although the film looks one-sided and blaming mainly Hindus for whatever happened...

But its triumph of cinema......a triumph of film making... I never thought i would have chance to watch a better flick than Black Friday from Bollywood this year....but after watching Parzania i cant tell which one is better.....

Apart from moving storyline and direction what raises Parzania to its zenith is streak of powerful performances.....even the actors who have minuscule role fires energy in his/her role....

But the two actors who stands above all are Naseeruddin Shah and Sarika... Naseer gives one of the finest performances of his career...and when one says one of the finest performance of Naseer career one can wonder how his performance can be....

Sarika----do i dare to say that she is even better than a class actor like Naseer in this flick?? Yeah...i dare to say that she had outdone Naseer's great performance in this flick.....can someone believe that this was the actress who used to come to show her bikini in tiny roles.....where was the talent hidden?

Playing the role of a wounded and sorrowful mother she is simply incredible....she is a complete revelation and no i don't mean like some critics keep using this word every now and then...Her delivery and expression in the emotionally devastating climax of the flick where she narrates the atrocious act before Human Rights Commission left me totally speechless....and when she says "my son had to come back no matter how long it takes...i will wait,i will wait"...i cried up.... This performance should be remembered as one the best performance given by any actress in history of Bollywood....

A must watch for everyone....and if you like quality cinema then you are committing a crime by not watching this flick.....

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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

A film that provokes thought

Author: Prasanna Arumugam from India
27 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw the movie last night and for the first time, there was this complete silence in the hall after the movie got over, I could understand what people were feeling at that moment, that somewhere deep within us the movie had touched a cord. The movie had one major flaw, that it was in English, if it was in Gujarati and had English subtitles it would had made the movie more authentic, because sometimes it was hard to relate with the characters. The other aspect which is worth applauding, is the fact that Rahul did not give to much of blood and gore, which commercial directors would have loved to exploit, but stuck to the human side of the tragedy. The casting for the movie could not have been better, everyone did a superb job, for the 2hr duration u were made to feel it was real. With heart felt sincerity I hope that Azhar is out there somewhere and will be reunited with his family some day.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

There were so many things I didn't know

Author: hemal_triv from United States
23 April 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I didn't know that the 2002 Gujrat riots were actually a well planned genocide. This film was both enlightening and shocking in a way that it revealed a part of history that was kept hidden by media propaganda. Dholakia did an excellent and a very courageous job of unraveling the truth behind the brutal mass massacre.

As far as the actual story-telling is concerned, I would rate it average. I did not like the idea that the entire film was in English. The characters didn't seem credible. Also the characters were too stereotypical. The police officers, the right-wing Hindu Parishad members, the families. Everything was stereotypical, to the extent of being cheesy. The Parsi family was perhaps too loving, the police officers too brutal, the parishad members too crude, the music too sentimental, the American too stupid and self-righteous and the neighborhood too harmonious. The characters lacked depth, the story lacked layers.

But all in all it was an excellent effort. Great performances by Sarika and Naseerudin. And a great and a very bold effort of revealing the truth, which was perhaps kept hidden. I just wish that such an important issue was complemented by better film making. When I compare this film to Hotel Rwanda, this film falls flat on its face. But nevertheless I strongly recommend watching this film. It is an eye-opening film.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Powerful and heart-wrenching.

Author: Shankar Kalyanaraman from Pasadena, CA
29 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Parzania is a powerful and heart-wrenching movie that is based on a true story about a Parsi (It is intriguing how the best of Indian literature and films are based on the Parsis. Parzania perhaps was happenstance, but surely not Pestonjee, Being Cyrus, Such A Long Journey etc.) family trapped in the line of fire in the tragic Gujarat riots of 2002. Mr Dholakia certainly deserves all the accolades he has been getting for his sheer courage in choosing to portray this extremely delicate flash-point episode in India's recent history.

The movie is constructed in three acts. In the first, the main characters are set up -- the happy family of Cyrus comprising himself, his wife Shernaz, daughter Dilshad and son Parzan, the disillusioned American studying Gandhi and the rest of the residents of the Muslim-dominated chawl including the sole Hindu family that lives in harmony with the others. In the second act, we see elements of brief consternation shown in the first act coming together and exploding into the pogrom that comes to wreck the lives of Cyrus and his family. The third act is a soul-searching exercise following the aftermath of the first violent 72 hours leading into the denouement of the NHRC hearing -- first the faked exonerating testimonies, then the inevitable admission of guilt by a Hindu followed by a pouring forth of searing indictments. The first act is dated and perhaps the subject matter exonerates the lack of creativity but the overdose of the ensemble introducing itself into the movie in brief flashes/cuts with doses of naive humour made me queasy. The editing could also have done with some.. well, editing. But, needless to say, the powerful pieces of searing human drama follow in the next two acts. Mr Dholakia must be commended till eternity for his decision not to intrude into the story that unrolls slowly with the confrontation between the American and the 'census-takers' and hurtles then on -- the kitschy music in the first act dies out to stone-cold silence, the camera angles are objective and all-encompassing and the actors take control of the movie. The third act is a lot like the quiet sea after a deluge -- the wreckage and flotsam is unmistakable, the cause still lurks within and yet the spite and the rage is painfully bottled up. A final nitpick I had with Mr Dholakia has more to do with the screenplay as such -- chiefly, the necessity of introducing the American into the story. While it may have been done with the intent to appeal to an overseas audience (and that can scarcely be blamed, given our own reluctance to admit folly), it deserved more treatment -- the American's disturbed childhood (believe me when I say however, that it was not as disturbed and as tragic as I had been led to believe and as I have known of some others), his introduction to Gandhi, his impotent, drunken rage and finally -- with a mere sob -- the disavowal of liquor and embrace of Gandhian values was somewhat hurried and jarring.

Next, we come to what really made Parzania work -- the actors. Naseeruddin Shah's portrayal as the patriarch and Sarika's role of the mother were two of the most compelling performances I have seen on screen in a very long time. From a veteran of theatre and film like Naseeruddin Shah, it should come as no surprise how he played the doting Parsi father of Parzan, his 'Tiger', the dutibound cinema projectionist, Shernaz's ever-loving husband, and then a distraught and disparaged human being who has been stripped of his dignity, his faith in humanity and his mental balance from having failed to protect his family -- all to awe-inspiring perfection. Sarika's performance then, is what is a stunning revelation. Her Shernaz is a woman whose universe is snugly wrapped around her husband and her two bubbly kids, and which is mercilessly shorn asunder when the rioting mob invades her chawl and burns it up. Yet, she displays phenomenal strength and resolve hiding her anguish in the innermost vestiges of her heart and only once sobbing uncontrollably (and even then, so as not to add to all that her daughter has been through, locking herself in the bathroom). And while her husband has emotionally detached himself from her and Dilshad following the trauma, it is she who must be brave and unshakeable for Dilshad. Sarika as Shernaz is easily the strongest essay in that role that I have seen. To add to all that, is her ageless, poetic, iridescent beauty -- merely looking at those green eyes are adequate in knowing her joys and her suffering. More than Perzan Dastur's Parzan, it is Pear Barsiwala's Dilshad which impressed me most as the adorable young daughter who plays a foil to Parzan during the happy days, then comes into her own when she escapes the clutches of the fanatics with her mother. She successfully persuades Shernaz to stay with her instead of going to look for Parzan. The shock is surely indelible, but she displays unfathomable pluck in clinging to her innocence and childhood -- she still yearns for the day when her brother will come back to her so that she can tie raakhi on his wrist and waits for nine days in tandem with her father; a penance of her own in desperation. Corin Nemec as the American that stands by Cyrus and family performs capably but as mentioned earlier, is only peripheral to the real drama that unfolds. Raj Zutshi, Sheeba Chaddha and others (particularly the mother who talks of her daughter being raped and gruesomely murdered at the NHRC deposition) embellish Parzania with all their acting prowess.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Parzania hits you hard !!

Author: Venkatesh Iyer from Mumbai, India
6 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Parzania has to be one of the very well made movies Indian cinema has given us in the last decade. The content of communal riots which hit India in the early 2000's has been handled very delicately and to excellence by Mr. Dholakia. The beauty of the movie being the thin line between the story of the Parsi family and the communal riots has been commendably drawn. The cast is very off beat for a perfectly off beat movie. Nasereuddin Shah once again shows why is he called the acting powerhouse of Indian Cinema. Sarika is a surprise content of the movie and has been well rewarded with the National Award for this movie. The child actors too have done a commendable job. The excitement that Dilshad shows when she gets to know that her brother would be back within 7 days is worth a mention.

This is movie hits you hard and seriously makes an impact. And makes you feel to make a difference to the society.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

one of the finest Indian movies to come out in the past 5 years

Author: dushyant chaturvedi from India
22 May 2007

this is a brilliant movie.period.master performances by Sarika Naseeruddin shah bring out the trauma which was faced by the minority community in Gujarat following the train burning incident which occurred at the city of Godhra. based on a true story,the movie tells us about a family of Parsis who lost their son Parzan when their housing society was attacked by religious zealots.parzania is the imaginary land created by parzan where everything is g8 and everyone is happy. brilliantly directed ,

this is one of those few Indian movies which makes the viewer empathize with the characters without exploiting their sentiments.all the actors and the movie deserve national award.two-thumbs rating:10/10

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Parzan's Dream

Author: Chrysanthepop from Fraggle Rock
5 October 2009

After the disastrous 'Kehtaa Hai Dil Baar Baar', Dholakia is back with something completely different. No need to say that he has shown great improvement as a director in 'Parzania'. Even though there have been many movies that have depicted the political conflicts between Hindus and Muslims in India that have lead to bloodshed, 'Parzania' takes a closer look at the tragedy that happened in Gujarat in 2002.

The film deals with a sensitive and poignant issue but perhaps under the wings of a more experienced director, 'Parzania' may have been a better film. Many of the scenes before the riot appear Bollywoodish and some of the scenes thereafter appear dramatic enough to interfere when it may have worked better had it been treated with subtlety. The Allan character is poorly written. At first he's portrayed as a caricature hippy-tourist type who switches to a whiny alcoholic before becoming a do-gooder. The writer fails to show a convincing transition. I also don't understand the point of Cyrus's quest which he undertakes in order to find answers.

Much of the movie is seen through Cyrus and Shernaz's point of view and those are the parts that worked best. It also helps that the aforementioned roles were played by gifted actors like Naseeruddin Shah and Sarika. Shah downplays Cyrus with élan but it is Sarika who is outstanding. She owns each and every one of her scenes. Parzan Dastur is very likable. Of the supporting cast, Raj Zutshi and Sheeba Chaddha are superb.

Flawed it may be, but 'Parzania' is far from being a bad film. It is worth the watch. Dholakia may not have been the best choice but he took a brave step and perhaps in the future he can tackle such sensitive issues with more skill and thus do more justice to the story.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Truth Exposed

Author: simbazaeem
6 December 2016

Everyone must watch to understand what hardship did people of Gujrat suffered during riots in 2002. Parzania has to be one of the very well made movies Indian cinema has given us in the last decade. Parzania cut open the wounds of Gujarat's scarred past, and received backlash and appreciation in equal amounts. The film was based on a superb plot which revolved around a boy called Azhar who goes missing during the Gujarat riots in the year 2002. Even though the film won a National Award, its cinematic excellence was not considered enough for political parties to let it screen in Gujarat, where it was fiercely banned.

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