Movie Review: Filmistaan (2014)
In Mumbai, affable Bollywood buff and wanna-be-actor Sunny, who works as an assistant director, fantasizes on becoming a heart-throb star. However, at every audition he is summarily thrown out. Undeterred, he goes with an American crew to remote areas in Rajasthan to work on a documentary. One day an Islamic terrorist group kidnaps him for the American crew-member. Sunny finds himself on enemy border amidst guns and pathani-clad guards, who decide to keep him hostage until they locate their original target. The house In which he is confined belongs to a Pakistani, whose trade stems from pirated Hindi films, which he brings back every time he crosses the border. Soon, the two factions realize that they share a human and cultural bond. The film shows how cinema can be the universal panacea for co-existence.
FILMISTAAN is one of those rare Hindi films that juxtaposes drama, humor and emotions seamlessly [screenplay: Nitin Kakkar]. An absorbing plotline is spread out splendidly into a 2-hour film and believe me, there’s never a dull moment in the entire narrative. Although the film does highlight cross-border terrorism, it also sheds light on the love that people from both sides have for Bollywood. Additionally, while the Indian protagonist is held captive in a hamlet in Pakistan, the film doesn’t come across as gloomy or dark. And despite the fact that he faces hardships/atrocities at the hands of his Pakistani captors, the director presents a picture of hope and optimism.