Monday, September 08, 2008


Rating : 5/10
Running Time : 105 Minutes
Release Date : 5th September ‘08
Director & Co-Writer : Santosh Sivan ; Music : Taufique Qureshi
Starring : Anupam Kher, Rahul Bose, Sarika, Ankush Dubey, with Purav Bhandare in the title role

The movie has lovely photography and portrays, without getting too heavy, the sad state of affairs in Kashmir. However, it is a bit slow and it failed to sustain my attention throughout the film – there are parts where you’re looking around, watching the (I wanted to say crowd but that would be an exaggeration) few other people in the hall.

Tahaan is inseparable from his donkey, Birbal. However, with his dad missing for a few years and the death of his grandfather, his mom has no choice but to sell off most of her assets to partly repay a loan and that includes the donkey. Tahaan now has to try to earn back the donkey. The cuteness of this premise is of course offset by the reality of Kashmir, where the army personnel seem to outnumber the residents, we can hear frequent gun-fire in the background and we see several checks and terrorist searches carried out by the army. The kids there even play army and terrorists vs the old fashioned cops and robbers.

The photography, done by the director himself, is breathtaking, reminding us of why this state has the sobriquet of ‘Paradise on Earth’. Some lovely shots of the ice melting into water stand out in memory. The performances overall though, seemed a bit lackluster, except for Sarika’s, who was very good. And I adored the opening credits, where beautiful watercolour paintings form and fade with each passing name.

The film is a nice slice-of-life with an almost fable-like quality but fails to make too much of an impression and you wonder at the point of it all when you leave the hall.


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Aslam Pyarajan said...

santosh sivan has a way with still and video is his camera that can show grass greener than what it naturally is.