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UNFREEDOM is an urgent contemporary thriller about a society torn apart by political, religious, and sexual turmoil. Shifting between New York and New Delhi, the film juxtaposes two powerful and unflinching stories about religious fundamentalism and intolerance, one of which follows a Muslim terrorist attempting to silence a liberal Muslim scholar, while the other is about a young woman who defies her devout father and escapes an arranged marriage because she is secretly embroiled in a taboo lesbian romance. In this searing portrait of the polarized world we live in, all four characters go to their absolute limit-and beyond-in their struggle to defend their deeply-held and conflicting viewpoints on freedom, faith, family and love.
Unfreedom means to tackle pressing issues of the modern society. It seems like it was supposed to be quite an ambitious movie, and when one looks at its description it really seems so. The picture tells two separate stories: one is about a Muslim terrorist who comes to New York City to kill a controversial Muslim scholar, the other is about a Hindu woman, who is supposed to marry a man chosen by her father, but who is actually a lesbian.
What could have been a moving story, very quickly turns out to be increasingly annoying and very poorly made. The storytelling is quite incoherent, taking leaps without any explanation. This robs the characters of emotional depth, as the movie never stops to explore their feelings. Even the most violent and bloody scenes weren't able to move me, as they seem like something out of a cheap exploitation movie and not what I believe was meant to be a moving drama. This blandness of the characters is also reflected in the acting, which in most cases is wooden even when it should be full of emotion. The only exception is Preeti Gupta as Leela, who is terribly overacting instead.
Almost every other aspect of the movie is similarly poor. The camera is often so shaky it may make the viewer dizzy and there is really no need for this here. The editing is super fast, cutting every 10 or 15 seconds, even in the scenes which are meant to be calm. The music is often too apparent, which is quite annoying. At first I found it sad that the movie could have been really good, but turned out very poor, but then I realised that a picture which is so bad in every possible way never had a chance of being good, even if it tackles really important issues.
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