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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)
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6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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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 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
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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:

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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

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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…


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