When you sit down watching a Movie titled Kaafiron Ki Namaaz, you are sure you are going to get a few controversial topics. The Indian contemporary Movie set in Kashmir may be dripping with controversial topics, Beautiful Cinematography and Poetic Banter, in the end the movie sets out to be a little over dramatic and taking itself a little bit too serious.
As the Movie itself states in Opening Credits, the title Kaafiron Ki Namaaz (literally a Non Believer’s Prayers or An Atheist’s prayer) is purely metaphorical. Where Kaafir represent state of impurity and Namaaz the state of Purity and thus the title represents The chaange that these characters traverse from State of Impurity to Purity.
Indian Censor Board has been giving strange signs these past years, Removing a kissing scene from Specter while allowing awful Indian adult Comedies through, Stopping release of Aligarh and many more instances. Another rash decision was stopping the release of this movie and thus the producers released the movie online on YouTube for free so that you can enjoy it, The Video is embedded in the end.
“Kaafiron Ki Namaaz” is about a recently court martialed army officer, a writer and a musician who confess their most personal secrets to each other on a rainy Christmas Eve somewhere in Srinagar, Kashmir. What begins as a dramatic discussion between the army officer and the writer in an old, abandoned hotel soon turns into a chilling meeting raising some pertinent issues. Meanwhile, the writer’s camera assistant stands as a mute spectator and records everything on his camera.
The movie starts well with beautifully shot sequence and a conversation between a mother and her son. Though as the movie enters the Cabin where most of the movie is filmed, the camera work is not that good. Still the lighting saves the day inside the cabin. The narrative holds you throughout the first act of the movie. The story behind The Army man and why was he Court Marshaled is haunting and terrifying to hear. The Gandhi Hating, Army Soldier who can be defined as an Anti National in Our Society is shown with excellent character writing. Though a little bit Over Dramatic some times.
Amid all the Controversial conversation are some finely crafted Dialogues like :
Jab rooh hi Kaafir Ho Jaaye to Jism Kaise Kab tak Khudai Pi Jiyega
When my soul itself betrays me then for how long is my body going to comply.
Uski aankhein aise cheenk rahi thi k koi unhe dhyaan se dekhe toh behra ho jaaye…
Her Eyes were Screaming so loud, that if anyone would look at them he would go deaf.
The Banter between the Writer and Army Man reaches height at few points in the movie when the Stage itself starts to bleed tension and helps in gripping the viewer. I am not saying whether the ideologies set in the Movie or the topics discussed are right or wrong, that is your Judgement. I just review movies based on its artistic importance and think that a movie is a medium, a great medium to spread word around and helps in opening people’s mind. While Some people use it for brain washing their minds with stupidity others like me take over the information inside and gets the brain to churn a little and then make a decision.
Anyway back to the movie, while the first half is well crafted, the second half loses its touch. The narrative gets bland and overly dramatic. The Humor is awkwardly placed and thus feels out of the narrative. This makes the movie a little bit too long. But as the end approaches the story gets back in its best form and thus lead to a good climax.
The movie in the end is about Confessions and reality, why there is a ‘kaafir’ in all of us and we can reach to the pure stage of ‘namaaz’ by Confessing our sins. And as the movie says in the end, you don’t need a priest for your confession.
With Controversial topics lurking behind and beautiful Cinematography Kaafiron Ki Namaaz is a brave piece of Movie making and deserve all of its praise.