Set in 1979 Pakistan, General Zia-ul-Haq has imposed martial law and, within a few months, the country is decreed a Muslim state. Aicha, a well-adjusted woman in her forties, devotes her life to the education of her eighteen-year-old son Salim, in the little village of Charkhi, in the Pakistani Penjab. Salim is a quiet dreamer, but the fast moving political situation fills Aicha with anxiety, since her son is changing out of all recognition.Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Perhaps the first south Asian film that has had such a lasting impression on me, Khamosh Pani has hardly received the glory it truly deserves. Watching the film leaves you senseless for about half an hour and then it knocks all the wind out of you.
Khamosh Pani takes the viewer to a small village in Pakistan where life evolves. Specifically it focuses on Ayesha and her son Saleem and their relationship. Ayesha never goes to the village well to draw water while Saleem gets seduced by Islamic fundamentalists and transforms from a love sick puppy to the man he thinks he wants to be.
Sabiha Sumar, perhaps one of the best directors in the subcontinent, tells us the story of a small village in Pakistan. With perhaps one of the most powerful issues to deal with, Sumar displays true genius by making everything seem so subtle and hauntingly real. Perhaps, the greatest strength lies in convincing the audience that the statement need not be made in black and white and in this respect Sumar shines.
To say that the acting performances were excellent would be the understatement of the century. One watches in amazement at how real and authentic each character is. The mind knows that what it sees are actors and yet it refuses to believe what it knows. Every single character, from an extra to the leads adds to the tremendous energy that the film brings with it. Kirron Kher as Ayesha/Veero is stunning, so much so that one cannot imagine her as anyone else. Aamir Ali Malik is another actor who plays with the audience, seducing them and disturbing them through the course of the film As an Indian separated from the partition by two generations I can't really say that I feel the pain that my mother does when she sees a film such as this, I have heard stories of my grand aunt who was attacked and mutilated by a mob in Lahore when my mothers family had to leave for India. Perhaps my lack of sentimental attachment makes me see it a little more objectively. Khamosh Pani has exposed me to some of this pain and while it may not be my own I can feel it. But the question that arose in my mind is that those that were around when this bloodshed (on both sides) occurred have mostly died or are dying, will we succeeding generations ever know this pain? The pain of leaving behind a wife, killing your own daughter, leaving her to be raped, Living in another country when that which was once a part of you lives somewhere else. How can I fight for this when I don't know what its like? Khamosh Pani made me feel this pain for a few days; perhaps we need more reminders such as these so that we can experience the pain to forget.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this