Subhash K Jha: Firaaq deserves the highest praise

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Nearly flawless, almost pitched perfectly to show the trauma of those who lose limbs, lives, loves and faith in a communal carnage. Nandita Das’s directorial debut leaves you speechless.

This is what cinema was always meant be. But somewhere in its chequered course from information to entertainment our movies began to feel like vaudeville entertainment meant more for diversion than intellectual stimulation.

Firaaq doesn’t aim to be a cerebral treatise on communalism. Nor does it suffuse the narrative with what one may call ‘intellectual masturbation’ for the sake of creating an aura of socio-political importance.

Non-judgemetal and utterly bereft of stylistic affectations, Firaaq is a graceful and glorious homage to the human spirit. Much of its visual power comes from Ravi Chandran’s articulate but restrained camerawork, Sreekar Prasad’s seamless but trenchant editing that leaves nothing (not even destiny) to chance, and Gautam Sen’s artwork which makes the city’s riot-torn colours emblematic of the red anger and the blue despair felt by the characters.

Set in those turbulent tension-filled days right after the Godhra incident in Gujarat, Firaaq depicts the loss of human faith and the complete absence of the rules of civilized conduct in the day-to-day workings of administration vis-

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