Terror in frames

Written by Kiran Yadav | Updated: Dec 1 2008, 04:47am hrs
It is real life on celluloid. The uncanny resemblance between the two is but unmistakable. We witnessed the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992, followed by the blasts in Mumbai in 1993 and then the communal riots. In 1998, Mani Ratnam captured the grief of separation of a Hindu man and his Muslim wife from their children amidst Bombay riots. But reel life is different from real life. While Mani Ratnams Bombay had a fairy tale end, we continue to battle terrorism in real life.

Later came the hard-hitting film Black Friday. Directed by Anurag Kashyap and based on a book by S Hussein Zaidi, the film dealt with the investigations following the 1993 serial Bombay blasts. Kashyap had to wait for years before he got permission to release the film. Thanks to a petition against the movie that alleged that the movie passes a judgment on the accused in the 1993 bomb blast.

Another script that seems to have taken roots in the 1993 Bombay blasts is Company. The underworld is reported to have split post the 1993 blasts with Dawdood Ibrahims best hit man Chota Rajan forming another gang. And the film realistically captures the ensuing gang war.

The recent blasts across India have witnessed more such inspired films from the Bollywood stable this year. Remarkable amongst them is Nishikant Kamats Mumbai Meri Jaan. The film is a mirror to lost faces and voices caught in the seven explosions that took place within a span of 11 minutes on the Mumbai locals in 2006. It implores personal losses and pain the frustration of the Mumbai policemen, the helplessness of a common man and the fear psychosis he has to now live with.

Also, Rajeev Khandelwal starrer Aamir which got rave reviews from the critics. The movie was a fresh break from mainstream Bollywood cinema which generally employs the Muslim stereotype image. Here the protagonist, Dr Aamir Ali, refuses to give in to religious extremists and chooses to blow himself up instead of planting a bomb in a BEST bus. The film had subtle Gandhian undertones, with Ali choosing the path of passive resistance sending out a strong and positive social message.

And of course, A Wednesday. Starring none other than Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher, the film looks at the attempt of an individual to counter terrorism in the event of the failure of State. In Shah, we find the Indian who wants to revolt and rebel against the defunct State and wants to act and not just be a mute spectator to the blasts. It was a character we all could instantly identify with.

If only real life could also imitate celluloid there would be fairy tale climaxes and indeed the world would be a better place to live in.