Ramchand Pakistani poster

Ramchand Pakistani

wogma rating: Beg or borrow, but do watch (?)

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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Director: Mehreen Jabbar
Running time: 105 minutes
Categories: World Cinema
Genres: Social
More Movie Info

Ramchand Pakistani (Hindi, Urdu) - Preview

- meeta, a part of the audience

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

9 reviewers(?) - 5 yays 3 so-so 1 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Gaurav Malani, indiatimes : ...Ramchand Pakistani captures the connotations of two religions in its title while its appeal is unbound by the confines of any creed or country... full review

Thumbs up, by Aparna, Now Running.com : ...Technically, the film is not of high quality, but Mehreen's narrative manages to hold the viewers' attention till the credits roll out.... full review

Thumbs up, by Preetee Brahmabhatt, Rediff : ...The film's young director, Mehreen Jabbar, outdoes herself in directing this poignant film and manages to avoid the pitfalls usually faced by directors when attempting something within this difficult genre.... full review

Thumbs up, by Simbarashe, starpulse : ...I'm more astonished at how fair all sides are depicted: the Indian corrections officers for instance, aren't bad guys, they're just officers at a prison because that's their job.... full review

Thumbs up, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ...The film is gentle, low key and very realistic as it documents the struggles of the prisoners.... full review

So-So, by Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM : ...On the whole, RAMCHAND PAKISTANI is a simple story well told. Business-wise, the problem is that it faces a strong opposition from two major releases this week.... full review

So-So, SmasHits.com : ...The film succeeds in establishing its secular credential by maintaining a politically correct stance by not taking sides of either country (India or Pakistan) or religion... full review

So-So, by Sarah Cohen, Time Out, New York : ...a moving story, realised with impressive maturity by first-time director... full review

Thumbs down, by Janhvi Patel, StarBoxOffice : ...A lot of hype surrounds Ramchand Pakistani, mainly because of the success of Khuda Kay Liye. Nandita Das is also in the film, raising expectation even further. But the film fell short of my expectations.... full review

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

2 readers - 0 yays 2 so-so 0 nays

So-So, by Consumer Goods

So-So, by Durable Goods

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Plot Summary

8 year old Ramchand who lives on the Indo-Pak border crosses the border to India by mistake. His father, Shankar follows him only for both of them to be arrested and thrown into an Indian Jail.

What Worked

  • The scene in which Champa hallucinates about her son and husband returning from India. The camerawork that captures her running towards the image is done really well.
  • The fact that abusive language is not beeped out, but a white noise replaces the curses. The white noise does not create the comic effect that beeps usually create.

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • The close-ups made Navaid Jabbar and Rashid Farooqui's make-up very obvious. This film could have certainly done without layers of foundation on their faces when they were in Jail.

Nitty-Gritty

This section lists things that I think are not important to the overall impact of the movie. In most cases, it could be explained away by something like, "we noticed the glitch after the scene was shot and there were schedule/budget issues and thus we could not re-shoot it". I like giving the makers the benefit of doubt, but I am amused nevertheless. Hopefully, they will tickle you too.

  • Considering that Champa is really running low on cash and is the only one she has to fend for, why does she take 2 kilograms of rice and 1 kilogram of dal at one go?

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 - Cast, crew, links

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Running time:
105 minutes
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