Review - Ramchand Pakistani (Hindi, Urdu): Life is beautiful, or is it?

wogma rating: Buy the DVD already (?)
quick review:

A heartwarming story of an 8 year old whose destiny has a few very difficult years in store for him. Makes you question how many childhoods have we lost to the Indo-Pak issue.

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Wogma Review

You can look at it as yet another heartbreaking story about several nameless prisoners on each side of the Indo-Pak border. Or you can look at it as a moving story of one family affected by the injustice embedded in the situation. Either way its a movie that touches you. A few years of Ramchand Pakistani's life is so sensitively narrated that it manages to completely absorb you for those 100-odd minutes. His journey starts with him as any other 8-year old, immature child who vies for his mom's attention and considers his dad as competition. But the situation he lands himself in leaves him no option but to connect with his father. That marks a start to their bitter-sweet relationship. From a scared, anxious little boy Ramchand grows into a hardened, defiant young man who just moves on with life as it comes. The move is as much about the situation as it is about the bonds Ramchand forms - with his mother, father, the police officer, and other prison inmates. None of this would have come through without one wonderful performance after another. Especially, Nandita, whose pride in her honour will not let anyone pity her despite her dire situation. Without a single word her anguish, her confusion at why she's been dealt such a lousy hand, and her willingness to move on with life, reach us.

Like the flute playing in the background, other subtle things keep the story balanced. The story is about a Hindu family living in Pakistan and a couple of them end up in an Indian jail with a kind Muslim jailer. The treatment towards the untouchables, the torture in prisons, child abuse by jail inmates, extortion of money-lenders - all are depicted without hitting hard. The aim is clearly to talk of a situation without pointing fingers and not to sensationalize. Just because people get used to whatever crap life offers them, does it mean we should let them happen? - It asks ever so quietly without letting gloom overwhelm you.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: One scene in which a prison inmate is being tortured. Not very intense, but gruesome.
  • Sexual content: A hint that love-making is going to come next.
  • Concept: It's an 8 year old's story and how he learns to face the trying circumstances he is put through.
  • General Look and Feel: It has a very rugged feel.

Ramchand Pakistani - Movie Details

Ramchand Pakistani - Trailer

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