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Khuda Ke Liye: A tough balancing act April 19, 2008

Posted by lollywoodhungama in Uncategorized.
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FILM: KHUDA KAY LIYE
Director: Shoaib Mansoor
Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Shan, Fawad Khan, Iman Ali, Rasheed Naz
Rating:    Very Good

Once in a ‘rare’ while comes a film that makes you want to sit and up and say “Bravo!” Made on a budget of 60 million Pakistani rupees, KHUDA KAY LIYE is a departure from the usually tepid Lollywood dramas. Also, the first Pakistani film to release in India after 40 years, it is truly deserving of this accolade.

Set in the year 2000, the story spans three countries: the United Kingdom, Pakistan and the United States. Two musician brothers Mansoor (Shaan) and Sarmad (Fawad Khan) are doing what they do best – making music, when the younger one is unexpectedly drawn towards Moulana Tahiri’s vitriolic against music, singing and the like, all of which he deems as un-Islamic.

Sarmad’s transformation from a confused youth to an even confused rabid Muslim who goes to the extent of surreptitiously marrying his uncle’s daughter Mary (Iman Ali), only to prevent her from marrying outside the faith, all in the name of God is frightening.

Meanwhile, the liberal Mansoor is in Chicago to pursue music when suddenly, fate turns a page and Mansoor’s world crashes all around him on September 11, 2001. On the flimsiest of grounds, Mansoor is persecuted for being a Muslim in a world which now identifies Islam with terrorism.

Save for a few jumps in the narrative here and there, KKL is gripping and keeps you engrossed throughout. Backed by excellent performances from its lead cast and Naseeruddin Shah in a very pivotal cameo, the film also has an excellent music score and the track Allah Ho, particularly stands out.

Director Shoaib Mansoor asks some tough questions that Muslims and non-Muslims all over the world have been forced to answer in the wake of 9/11… Has Islam become synonymous with Jehad? And can the world learn to differentiate between the good Muslim and the bad Muslim? KKL will give u some answers, if not all. It may be difficult to believe that this rather accomplished piece of cinema on a very complex subject is the first for its director, but it is.

The E NOW weekend verdict for this brave film then is three and a half stars.

(Review by Arshiya Kapadia)

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