Waris Shah: Ishq Daa Waaris (2006)
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(Such a wonderful film, such beautiful songs that if life were to end right now, One would have no regrets.
The voice is like that of Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn, that upon entering one's heart, leaves room for nobody\ nothing else!)
Films like these do Punjab proud and being Punjabi I am biased towards this film a bit. Watching it was so refreshing that I think I'm changed from the inside. Deep down, I felt my soul watch this film and cry in joy. I wish they would make more films like this.
As a kid growing up, I've always heard of Heer Ranja having similarities to Romeo and Juliet (a play I read in school, which I completely hated - turned me off to Shakespeare until reading MacBeth & King Lear), but never knew who the author was and the actual story. I still don't know the story of Heer Ranja, but having seen this film makes me want to read it (even if it is romance).
I completely get how music connects the singer, the player, the listener to GOD. Its beautiful, beautiful, beautiful and I totally get what Waris Shah went through because you can feel it in the actors, in the space around them, the setting (the time), all the characters that feed the aura of the protagonists. Everything from the air and dirt to actual characters in the film support the main protagonists and create the atmosphere that was Moghul-ruled Punjab.
Let me tell you something. If a movie like this can make a person like me, who hates poetry, become a poet (even if its for that little bit above) - it is definitely worth a watch. Giving this film a 10 is an injustice for it deserves a 100 (too bad the scale doesn't go that high). Gurdass Mann has always been a living legend for us Punjabis as far as music goes and his acting in this is a real treat. Juhi Chawla is the epitome of Waris Shah's "Heer" character. Both of them hit the mark, right on, with their acting so well, that while watching it you want to cry and you will (even if you're tough like me). Cry for joy, cry for delight, cry because after watching you feel just a little bit closer to GOD.
Hasn't this always been the goal of media? To influence the masses - whether for good or bad. I wish they made more films that influence for the good. I cannot see Hollywood carrying off such a spectacular story line. Hollywood is not emotional enough for they've become so desensitized, so detached from emotions that you can tell they are acting only on the surface. This is where I think Indian cinema excels, because most of the films made are family oriented & loaded with all of the world's emotions: anger, sorrow, joy, death, love, hate, peace, war. This film is no different in that respect. Only in an Indian film will you find somebody dancing and singing to their execution. Only in an Indian film will you find negative & positive forces of life represented equally and to such depths that it never fails to strike a cord with the viewer.
Lastly, I just wanted to mention that it is unfortunate that the director of this magnificent film could not be alive to see its success. To the belated Mr. Manoj Punj, I hope you find everlasting peace until it is time for you to be reborn again. May GOD grant you a long and blessed after-life in Heaven for you have no idea how many hearts you have touched by making this film. You have given Punjab a reason to be proud of its Muslim heritage. A heritage that many of us forget exists. Thank you for that. Thank you very, very much!