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World War II: Shortly after D-Day, three American soldiers and two Army Corps nurses are stranded behind enemy lines. They take a high-ranking German officer as their prisoner and try to orchestrate an escape.
In 2008, a band of young Islamic militants from Pakistan lands in Mumbai, their primary target, the iconic Taj Mahal hotel. With Indian forces unable to regain control, for 4 days the guests must battle to survive as the terrorists seek to drive them from hiding. The harrowing events that follow will come to be known as India's 9/11 and one of the most audacious terrorist attacks in history. Yet more than a tale of monsters and men, this is a story of our shared humanity at the dark crossroads to which we have now stumbled. Inspired by true events.Written by
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The title is incorrect grammar. It should read "One Fewer God." See more »
Moving and thought provoking - a masterclass in independent filmmaking!
I had the pleasure of seeing One Less God during a Q&A screening with the director, Lliam Worthington, at the Byron Bay Film Festival in 2017, where it won Best Picture. To say this film had me utterly and completely gripped from start to finish would be an understatement! It is an absolute masterpiece of independent filmmaking!
The story is inspired by the harrowing events of the Mumbai Hotel terrorist attacks in India from 2008, and follows an ensemble cast of various characters who are trapped in the hotel during the attack. I won't say too much about the story other than that it's an emotional roller coaster! By the end I was moved so deeply that I was literally a blubbering mess (in a good way)!
The writing and direction are impeccable across the board, and the ensemble cast all put in terrific performances. Special mentions must go to Joseph Mahler Taylor, whose effortlessly natural performance really grounds the film in all it's emotional ups and downs (and you'd never know he isn't actually Irish!) and Kabir Singh, who brings subtlety and even relatability to one of the terrorists, Yaaseen, which must have been an incredibly difficult role. Mihika Rao is also brilliant as the young Indian girl, Atiya, and the relationship between her and her grandfather really tugs at the heartstrings at all the right moments.
I was shocked to discover how low the budget was for One Less God (I believe it was only around $250K Australian) and I was impressed with how high the production value is despite this. The cinematography is beautiful, and the action sequences are exciting and staged well. Despite some shaky camera here and there, you always know exactly what is happening. Some of the special effects may not quite hold up under close scrutiny, but again, considering the budget, they are extremely impressive and never detract from the experience of the film in any way.
Where the film really shines is in it's themes and deep exploration of it's subject matter. A great example is it's representation of the terrorists; they are not portrayed as evil, one dimensional characters as is the case in so many other similar films, they are fleshed out human beings with motives, needs and desires like the rest of us, who at the end of the day are just doing what they think is 'right'. I found this approach to 'humanising' the villains very refreshing, and as was evidenced by the Q&A after the screening, it really opened up the difficult conversations that need to happen around these sorts of events.
The film isn't afraid to ask difficult questions that most films shy away from. Questions about the place of religion in the modern world and it's impact on our society and on us as individuals. While I'm sure some will no doubt claim that this film is 'anti-Muslim' or something of the sort, to do so would be completely incorrect and misses the point of the film entirely. One Less God is not anti-religious, it is pro-peace and pro-love. It's central question asks us as an audience what we should consider giving up for love, and that perhaps it's about time, as a global civilisation, we set aside all of the different beliefs systems and religions that continue to divide us. For the sake of our children and our children's children, isn't it about time we stopped killing each other over fictional beliefs that we have clung onto for centuries? The film bravely challenges it's audience to deeply ponder these questions and have these conversations, and for that, I commend it.
One Less God is not only one of the best Australian films I've seen in recent years, it's one of the best films period. Writer/Director Lliam Worthington and the rest of his team should be enormously proud of what they've created, the love, blood, sweat and tears that the filmmakers obviously put into the film literally burst on the screen in every scene! The film achieves everything it sets out to achieve (and more) and wraps it all up in an entertaining, riveting, moving and emotionally satisfying story that will stay with you and keep you thinking long after the credits roll. I truly do encourage all audiences to seek this film out, not only because it's an excellent film, but because it has a great message that in today's world is an important one for people to hear, because as the film itself so eloquently puts it, the only thing worth giving up for love, is everything. 10/10.
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