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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. :)


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