Skip to main content

Bol: Speak out

It has been a long time since I reviewed a movie. Two movies I really want to write about some day are Dhobi Ghat and Band Baaja Baraat, the only two movies that have impressed me in recent times. But for now I will stick to Bol.

Even though I tried my best not to compare Bol to Khuda Ke Liye, I didn't succeed. There are several commonalities between both these movies and the major one is that both aim at unveiling the evils persisting in the Islamic society. The saddest part is that all this is claimed to be done in the name of God. Even though the story is of a Muslim family in Pakistan, I think the issue is beyond a specific community, language, state or a country. We have our own shame list comprising of female infanticides, khap panchayats, honor killings and many more.

The main protagonist of Bol is Zainab who has been sentenced to death because she killed her father. She is granted her last wish of telling her story to the world before being executed. She speaks about her family which comprised of 7 sisters apart from a mother (child making machine) and a father (man behind the annual child making) and a never ending quest for producing a 'waaris'. With a long queue of daughters in his house, the father, a hakeem, very conveniently blames his wife for all the misery- 'Tumko do hi kaam to theek se aate hain. Ek khaana banaana aur doosra betiyan paida karna.' Zainab being the eldest daughter who could not see her mother's agony, gets her mother operated so that there are no more mouths to feed in the times of dwindling resources. But before that, to add to the misfortune, the mother gives birth to a transgender kid. The kid is disowned by his father who even considered killing him as soon as he was born. He grows up strictly confined to the house, under the love and care of his sisters and mother. After a long dramatic turn of events, the father kills the boy fearing the society and the probable shame that he would bring to the family. And the tragedy doesn't end there.

Through this movie (and Khuda Ke Liye) the director Shoaib Mansoor tries to bring out the sorry state of women in a patriarchal society and how the hypocritical male goes on abusing them in the name of religion. I liked Bol but I think that it became dragging towards the end. Khuda Ke Liye was more effective and had better music. Listen to these songs and decide for yourself. The first one is the title track which basically summarizes the context of the movie and the second one is a sufi song by Baba Bulle Shah, which speaks against the caste divide.

Keep visiting for more reviews in the coming weeks. :)


Popular posts from this blog

A poem from childhood...

"Long legged Italy, kicked poor Sicily
In the middle of Mediterranean Sea.
Austria was Hungary
Took a bit of Turkey
Fried it in Japan
Dipped it in Greece...."

I remember only this much. This poem was my first attempt at learning the names of these countries and locating them on the map of the world. And I thought Austria and Australia were same. :-)

It's time to confirm that I was wrong at that point of time, some twenty years back...

The Creeper

Do you remember the day you were born? I do. Or, at least I would like to believe that I do. My tiny arms pushed against the mother earth, cracking it open so that I could get the first glimpse of the new world that was going to be my home. I was expecting some kind of magic but reality seemed to be far less magical. It was cold and dark outside and I almost regretted being born. But I shrugged off that thought and decided to give the world one more chance. Tired and pale, I rested my head on the bosom of mother earth and fell asleep.

Things looked a little brighter when I woke up. It wasn't dark anymore. Something far up in the sky shined brightly. It was the sun, I learned later. I felt stronger and noticed that I was not pale anymore. My arms were now turning green and a tiny leaf was about to unfurl, my first leaf.

Many cold nights and sunny days went by and I grew taller, or may be I should say longer because I could never rise up and away from the earth. I was surrounded by…

Taare Zameen Par

Saw the first show of Taare Zameen Par yesterday. A beautiful movie. A must watch for all. The movie deals with an issue 'less-explored'-- needs of a child.

What does "taking care of a child" mean? Putting your child in the best school available. Spending money on tutions, swimming classes, dance classes, and what not. Getting them the best designer wear available. Chocolates, video games, picnics...

TZP tries to define "taking care" which is very different from what is percieved by most adults.

A child who is too young to understand why he is not like other normal children of his age goes through a rough time both at home and school. Then there are constant comparisons with a sibling, who incidentally is a topper and is 'fit to compete in today's world'. He just gives up trying and gets lost within himself. Ishaan was lucky enough to get noticed by a teacher who understands his special needs. How many other children would find similar support? Wha…