Filmistaan - Review

wogma rating: The keen should rent; else TV (?)
quick review:

The first half of Filmistaan makes you want to recommend it to everyone around. The second half, though not boring, becomes cliché-ridden.



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Wogma Review

It is always heartening to watch the start of an indie film. The excitement that roars from inside as you as you begin liking the film is matched by very few other experiences. Filmistaan gives you exactly that experience. Unfortunately, it doesn't hold up that well through till the end.

The dialogue, the performances and the setting hook you in from the beginning. I don't remember the last time I had so many "laugh out loud"s while watching a film. Sharib Hashmi as the Indian assistant director, who is mistakenly kidnapped by terrorists (Kumud Mishra and Gopal Dutt) and is imprisoned at a localite's, (Inaamulhaq) house, is absolutely endearing.

It isn't difficult to believe that he is a well-liked character even if an Indian in a Pakistani village. Of course, as many points to the dialogue department as to Sharib Hashmi, but he charms you with his spoofy wannabe actor do. So much so that, even though Inaamulhaq gives an equally good performance, unfortunately he pales alongside Sharib Hashmi. In further comparison, Kumud Mishra and Gopal Dutt just don't have a deep enough character to even try coming close.

But, the desert becomes a character that you look forward to in all the long shots. Almost as if the aridity and dustiness seep into the theater inviting you into the film. On the other hand, the music is slightly jarring. Not that the songs are bad, just that they didn't belong to the film's genre.

The real problem then comes with the second half which isn't explicitly downhill either. It's just that it becomes a little predictable with characters taking clichéd routes. Four characters, four clichés. And as many predictable turn of events as there are situations. The fun yet satirical moments gradually deteriorate into "oh we left out this obvious point."

And that drops Filmistaan from a 'do not miss' to 'watch when you can'. And that's as saddening as the beginning was heartening, because it hurts to not like a film like Filmistaan.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Gunshots.
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: None.
  • Concept: An Indian film-lover lands up on the other side of the border, where he finds Pakistanis just like him.
  • General Look and Feel: Dusty and perfectly topical.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 3
  • Story: 3
  • Lead Actors: 4
  • Character Artists: 4
  • Dialogues: 4
  • Screenplay: 3.5
  • Music Director: 2
  • Lyrics: 2

Filmistaan - Movie Details

Filmistaan - Trailer

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Comments (3)

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Spot on review, Meetu. But for the predictable deus ex machina in the latter half, it would have been an indie classic. I caught it on DVD and would give it that very rating. Pity, it went largely ignored by the public and even critics.


Thank you, @Samir!


Once in a while a movie by a little known star cast (production included) comes along on a shoestring budget and warms up your heart enormously.

Filmistan is one of them.

Thoroughly enjoyed, even though a bit unrealistic. No great twists in story but still engrossing to watch. All the lead actors were good and did justice to their characters.

The dialogue about paying a large price for a shirt lingered on for a long time.

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