Standing Ovation to one of the best crafts ever etched4IndianCinema
54 'Prisoners of War' (POW) have been captured by Pakistan and never returned
to India or told to the world. No one knows what happened to them. Till now, till date. The Intelligence Bureau reported that still some of them were alive in 1988. Indian Govt never really 'cared' to find out about their existence. It remains a mystery till date, whether some war prisoners are still hoping to live, waiting to die in the remains of a hapless country which betrayed Red Cross, all international norms of War. This story is a fictitious rendering about 6 such Lts and Commanders who tried to escape. This story is their journey of hope in telling the truth to the world.
Will they make it to the border?
Will the world come to know about the rest of the POW?
[[before you read this, some history-> http://ia.rediff.com/movies/2007/mar/07war.htm ]]
Rarely do you see a quality cinema surpassed by it's own excellence in every technical department in a debut making.
1971: Prisoners of War will surprise you, touch you deep within and astonish you with it's film making brilliance. India is awakening and new talent is booming. Ironically the pathway is still led by stars who endorse everything from toothpaste to banks, Big banners which have anything but little to offer in path breaking celluloid. Here comes a movie straight from the heart. With utter honesty weaved with a brilliant execution of screenplay, acting, story telling, characterization, background score, in a thematic foreplay that could raise eyebrows to the world cinema critics.
There have been war movies before, many repetitive takes on Indo-Pak relationships, many patriotic themes. This movie does what all other movies never could touch. It touches Patriotism at an international level beyond the boundary of a country. You dont necessarily have to be an Indian to watch. It is like Love, without any barriers. Patriotism has no nationality. It touches a human spirit & emotions behind a facade of war-zone. There is no hatred, animosity. You do not see Slangs starting with M* or B*. There is no bloodshed, no violence, no hatred for each other. Instead, what you see is much more sophisticated Art of War. Strategies, Planning, Contrived Army Politics. All wrapped up in a perfect edge of the seat action and story telling like you've seen in good foreign cinema.
Manoj Bajpai is first class, perhaps his best performance till date. Watch out for his scenes towards the end. Every other character is beyond brilliance, you may not have heard their names before but it helps to relate to their characters which has been portrayed brilliantly, each one of them. The young Amrit Sagar, son of the legendary filmmaker "Ramananda Sagar" (maker of Ramayana TV series) makes a debut like no other, from his brief stint in the US; doubling with his 16 year old brother to compose the background score for this movie and his Uncles as producers. This is a family effort who passionately made this movie. For once, you will begin to think, a new sound is born. A new AR rahman has risen. There are 4 songs, all perfectly blended in the bg in this movie (one spellbinding theme music during the end titles sung by Shibani Kashyap). Couple of these songs have been sung without any music but just plates and table. That is a complete retake on filming songs!
The Editing is crisp, not a single scene are you taken away from the story. Cinematography is not top notch but commendable with scenic routes of Himachal Pradesh, Kulu with it's semi-sepia tone and slow action steady cams. The Writer Piyush Mishra brings his experience from his previous epic writing - Legend of the Bhagat Singh; does a fantastic job with realism in every character. As a comparison to a feeling of realism & passion you could think of "Hotel Rwanda" or Swades. Inspite of it's shades of inspirations from the theme of "Great Escape", this movie begs to grab your respect.
It's rather ironic that at a time when India needs a boost for young talent with an international outlook on film-making, the critics and the audience betray them yet again. It's been a month and I haven't seen a single critical review of a movie or discussion, which I personally think is one of the best Indian crafts I've ever watched. What a shame. This needs a lot better attention. This is the kind of movie you would want to proudly represent at the academy awards.
Watch this movie for it's passion. Watch this movie if you want to learn what film-making is all about. Watch this movie to take home some true feelings about the people who have never been thought of. Don't let the sand wash away, preserve your soil. Let the talent be ripe in this dying beautiful world. But for the almighty sake, don't watch this movie for the critics. Watch it for yourself, watch it alone and you will walk back with great honor in your heart. That's my word for you.
Rating - 9.5 / 10
Listen to the Songs here
"Sehlenge Hum" - Sung beautifully, in an absolutely spellbound voice by Shibani Kashyap
"Prelude to the show - Instrumental" - You may be think it's John Williams or James Horner who composed this piece. Ironically its a 16 yeard old debutante ...
"Saajna" - a great sufi ghazal ...