6.7/10
812
14 user 39 critic

Qissa: The Tale of a Lonely Ghost (2013)

Umber Singh is a Sikh who loses everything during the separation of India in 1947 and is forced to leave his homeland. He obsessively wishes for a male heir. When his fourth daughter is born, he decides to wage a fight against destiny.

Director:

Anup Singh

Writers:

Anup Singh (screenplay), Madhuja Mukherjee (co-writer)
Reviews
6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Irrfan Khan ... Umber Singh
Tisca Chopra ... Mehar
Tillotama Shome ... Kanwar
Rasika Dugal ... Neeli
Danish Akhtar Danish Akhtar ... Young Kanwar
Sonia Bindra Sonia Bindra ... Kulbir
Faezeh Jalali ... Baali
Dhami Dhami ... Village Elder
Jitendra Kaur Jitendra Kaur ... Midwife
Sukhwinder Virk Sukhwinder Virk ... Midwife
Sarabjit Sarabjit ... Infant Sohni
Bhavya Bhavya ... Little Kulbir
Riyaz Aulakh Riyaz Aulakh ... Little Baali
Nakul Arora Nakul Arora ... Boy On the Hill
Sejal Sejal ... Young Baali
Learn more

More Like This 

The Namesake (2006)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

American-born Gogol, the son of Indian immigrants, wants to fit in among his fellow New Yorkers, despite his family's unwillingness to let go of their traditional ways.

Director: Mira Nair
Stars: Kal Penn, Irrfan Khan, Tabu
Gamak Ghar (2019)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In a north Indian village, a family reunites at their ancestral house to celebrate a new birth in the family. It's a joyous, carefree occasion. Over the next two decades, through festivals ... See full summary »

Director: Achal Mishra
Stars: Abhinav Jha, Mira Jha, Satyam Jha
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Gangsters kidnap the prospective son-in-law of a politician in order to secure the release of an imprisoned gang-member.

Director: Sudhir Mishra
Stars: Irrfan Khan, Chitrangda Singh, Arunoday Singh
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A decorated and disabled Police Officer becomes suspect in a double homicide.

Director: Neeraj Pathak
Stars: Sunny Deol, Irrfan Khan, Isha Koppikar
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Saheb, his wife, and a gangster who returns to take revenge.

Director: Tigmanshu Dhulia
Stars: Jimmy Sheirgill, Mahie Gill, Irrfan Khan
Jazbaa (2015)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Tensions arise when the daughter of nation's best lawyer is kidnapped. Now she'll have to save a rapist from death sentence, as ransom, within 4 days.

Director: Sanjay Gupta
Stars: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Irrfan Khan, Shabana Azmi
D-Day I (2013)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A team of experts dispatched to bring in The Most Wanted Man in India almost achieve the unthinkable ... until something goes horribly wrong.

Director: Nikkhil Advani
Stars: Irrfan Khan, Rishi Kapoor, Arjun Rampal
Knock Out (2010)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Hidden with a mysterious agenda, a sniper holds a businessman hostage in a closed phone booth cell, where he is ordered to obey the tasks of sniper or he will be killed.

Director: Mani Shankar
Stars: Sanjay Dutt, Irrfan Khan, Kangana Ranaut
Apna Asmaan (2007)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In order to make their autistic child a genius, a couple injects a drug into his body, only to face drastic consequences later.

Director: Kaushik Roy
Stars: Irrfan Khan, Shobana, Dhruv Piyush Panjuani
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Yogi and Jaya, who have polar opposite personalities and sensibilities, meet via a online dating app. This encounter turns into so much more when the two travel to Rishikesh.

Director: Tanuja Chandra
Stars: Irrfan Khan, Parvathy Thiruvothu, Bajrangbali Singh
Maqbool (2003)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The intrigue of the Shakespearean tragedy 'Macbeth' is transposed to the Mumbai underworld.

Director: Vishal Bhardwaj
Stars: Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Pankaj Kapur
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Susanna's quest for love leads to a series of marriages, each ending in the mysterious death of her latest husband.

Director: Vishal Bhardwaj
Stars: Priyanka Chopra, Vivaan Shah, Neil Nitin Mukesh
Edit

Storyline

During the 1947 partition of India, Umber Singh and his family are forced to leave their village. After two girl children, his wife gives birth to a third girl child as they flee their village much to the displeasure of Umber Singh. After moving to a new place, Umber stabilizes and his wife is pregnant again. While the fourth child is also born as a female, Umber convinces himself and his wife to raise the girl child as a son throwing up complications aplenty. Written by PipingHotViews

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The script was written in late 90s with Balraj Sahni in mind for the lead role. See more »

User Reviews

 
A Social Foeticide and A Prisoner by Choice
2 March 2015 | by saumyadeep-kittuSee all my reviews

What if you were the prisoner of desires? What if your construction was nothing but a quicksand of lies? All you gain is a house of cards. A ghost, so lonely by the defeat of his realism walks down the Punjab territory. Alas, the land gets bisected by a border, so violent! Such is the tale of Tillotama Shome's Kanwar being morally stabbed behind the curtain of sexuality. Anup Singh's Indian-German film 'Qissa-The Tale of a Lonely Ghost' is a cinematic sensation that goes down deep into your subconscious.

In the hour of Partition, a Sikh resident of the now Pakistan seeks shelter in Punjab, India with his wife and three not so desired for daughters. Thus is what Irrfan Khan's Umber Singh, wishing for a boy out of Mehar's (Tisca Chopra) womb. When the fourth daughter is born, he persists on bringing her up as a son. Kanwar, in disguise of a son prepares herself as a boy. An adolescent love gets injected in the form of Neeli (Rasika Dugal) followed by a marriage. The beginning of a new relationship calls for the end of what was so far a sexual illusion.

Director Anup Singh does true justice in maintaining the patience of being brave as he successfully makes the non-chronological phantasm work in a meter of realism as well as surrealism. The second half of the story takes a sudden realistic turn as it is revealed in the posters of the film. If realism is the false fall, surrealism gives the definite land in the plot.

With the evergreen brilliance of Irrfan Khan, the acting has reached a summit of what one can hardly comment about. The soliloquy presented to the dead sands is like a perpetual cycle of fate that cries in the tone of,"Naa aadmi, naa aurat. Naa jeev, naa pret." Tillotama Shome, famous for her serious portrayals has once again nourished the excellence of her virtue. With an innocent boldness and an intense artistry, her character is like a flame, the delusion of which stays on even after it gets extinguished. Tisca Chopra and Rasika Dugal has also contributed their magnificence in sculpting this master class.

A warm tone cinematography throughout the film along with the immaculate sound mixing has successfully provided for balancing the tension with the 'what happens next' feeling. A well edited synchronization with the proper synthesis of music has given the film a strong circumference.

The audience leaves the theatres with some serious question marks haunting their grey scale. The well cooked delicacy of a sexually exposed Kanwar with the fog of Neeli's existence is the best abstract that gets nailed into your brain. The posters came out with a Mira Nair quote terming the film as a "masterpiece." 'Qissa-The Tale of a Lonely Ghost' is not a onetime watch. Watch, leave and watch again


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 14 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Heimatfilm [Germany]

Country:

Germany | India | Netherlands | France

Language:

Punjabi

Release Date:

10 July 2014 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Tale of a Lonely Ghost See more »

Filming Locations:

Punjab, India

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Top Rated and Trending Indian Movies

Check out the Indian movies with the highest ratings from IMDb users, as well as the movies that are trending in real time.



Recently Viewed