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This film documents the transportation of 69 beautiful statues from the Louvre in Paris, to Galleria Borghese in Rome. The statues were meticulously transported all together for the first and last time for a great exhibition.
Alessio Jim Della Valle
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Based on real events in Bangladesh, 1971. The film is about how rape and religion were used as war weaponry. The film deals with the birth of Bangladesh in 1971, focusing on the genocide and when 400,000 women were raped and 3 million people were killed. As the film progresses towards its climax, the three stories begin to intertwine with one another.Written by
The appreciable thought & craft is there but the soul & impact goes completely missing in this painfully long attempt.
Not many film-makers have dared to make a film on 1971's Bangladesh war of independence, showcasing those nine long months of untold brutal killings, rapes, painful sufferings and hatred spread over the region resulting in a big genocide. The subject no doubt remains controversial involving the Pakistan military till date and therefore debutant director Mrityunjay Devrat truly deserves appreciation for making this extremely difficult choice of subject for his very first film boldly.
However as far as the execution is concerned, at one end he positively displays a fine understanding of the subject, shot taking, ambiance and the art of extracting good performances from the cast skillfully. But on the other, falls short of creating the desired impact, missing the basic soul of the film, which has to be a focused, well written script delivering the content impressively. So, yes the film does score at various levels as a rare attempt in the War-genre, yet it fails to emotionally connect with the viewer largely, despite being based on a shocking & eye-opener theme of Bangladesh's struggle for freedom.
Revolving around four fictional stories of that particular nine months connecting with each other, we have a journalist turning into a revolutionary after his wife's rape and kidnap, taking her into a prisoner's camp. A brother & sister, trying to cross the border into India, an old man leading his fellow villagers towards a safe passage and a rebel leader planning hidden attacks on Pakistani military men through his small revolutionary group. Beginning with an actual video footage of Mrs. Indira Gandhi (then Prime Minister of India), the film straight goes into the interconnected stories without properly explaining the basic premise of the massacre in any details (through a voice over or else). And this is what causes a big confusion in the minds of the young viewers who are not actually familiar of the shameful history in details. Incidentally I felt the same while hearing the whispers among some youngsters sitting on my adjoining seat, who were not at all aware of any of the names taken in the film like Mukti Bahini, Bhutto and Yahya Khan.
So the less (or no) explanation of the factors actually responsible for the war becomes the first hindrance in the path of making a direct connect with the viewers. Plus it's the painfully long duration crossing 160 minutes of bloody sequences which becomes too much after a while, ruining its overall impact and seriousness altogether. Moreover, there is an imbalance visible in the chosen cast too wherein Pavan Malhotra, Raima Sen, Tillotama Shome and Riddhi Sen are exceptional in their respective roles but Victor Bannerjee is unable to leave an impact along with Indraneil Sengupta &Rucha Inamdar looking less intense and involved than required. Also the veteran Late Farooque Shaikh seems to be a complete misfit in the role of a violent rebel.
In short, "CHILDREN OF WAR - Nine Months To Freedom" certainly has an important message to give through some of its upsetting; emotional sequences depicting the ruthless crimes committed against the innocent people, particularly the women. But unfortunately the film also suffers hugely due to a lengthy-uninteresting flow, weak script and inexpressive narration unable to convey the core message convincingly. It has some earnest performances well canned by a noteworthy cinematography, but also has a loud background score incorporating a rock feel unnecessarily. In other words the film is horrifically tense (working in parts), yet lacks the real depth which has to be the key feature of movies made on such thoughtful themes of War Crimes.
And I seriously wish it had that satisfying execution to leave an everlasting impact (as generated by its promo), since similar war crimes are being committed even in 2014 (as per the latest news of Boko Haram) and many are still unaware of such humiliating, inhuman acts..........., living their own unaffected lives in the other parts of the world happily.
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