- Movie Name:Mulk
- Critics Rating: 3 / 5
- Release Date: AUG 3, 2018
- Director: Anubhav Sinha
- Genre: Drama
Mulk (meaning: country) is a film on patriotism. A middle-class Indian’s love towards its country that sees no religion; the loyalty which remains even when his own disown him. Mulk is all about Murad Ali Muhammad and many such people who love their country without the need of proving their loyalty to anyone. Not an overstatement to say, there hasn’t been any such movie made in Bollywood in the recent times. A brave attempt, which deserves an ovation for mere trying that subject. Before passing a verdict on this Anubhav Sinha-directorial, let's dissect the film a bit.
Mulk Plot Summary
Murad Ali Muhammad (Rishi Kapoor), a former-lawyer lives amiably in a densely-populated locality of Varanasi. His daily routine included a cup of tea from a ‘Chaurasiya Tea Stall’ and a brief chat session with his Hindu friends. His life is thrown into a tizzy when his nephew Shahid (Prateik Babbar) decides to go astray and join hands with a terrorist organization. While his brother Bilal Ali is taken into a custody for questioning, Murad Ali and his Hindu daughter-in-law Aarti (Taapsee Pannu) struggle to get their name cleared in the court. After the sudden death of Bilal, Aarti takes the matter into her hands to get her father-in-law and his family acquitted of all the charges that were laid upon them on the basis of mere prejudice; all Muslims are breeders of terrorists and all the terrorists are Muslims.
First things first, Mulk is a no-nonsense movie. Never at any point in the film, Anubhav Sinha deviates from the subject; existing prejudices in India and other countries regarding Muslim community. The best part of the film is that no fillers are used to add aesthetic value to it. It’s as real and hard-hitting as a purely content-driven film should be. Right from the first few minutes of the film, Mulk takes you on a journey that has sufferings and a lot of sufferings of the Muhammad family. The brightness of the Benaras streets that shriek communal harmony is soon turned into gloom that leaves you with an eerie feeling. You can feel yourself stepping into the shoes of the Muhammad family and the bigotry they face in the hands of the very people they called their own.
The mixed feeling of grief and anger of a family who lost their ‘terrorist’ son is depicted with no filters attached. It’s not a surprise as Anubhav Sinha belongs to a breed of filmmakers who don’t believe in sugar-coating and looking at things with rose-tinted glasses. Everything in Mulk, ranging from the streets of Banaras to the court, felt life-like. The director has worked very well on the characters of the film, which don’t come on your face like most of the Bollywood films. Each of the character has its own essence, which unravels as the film progresses.
Mulk Cast: Rishi Kapoor, Taapsee Pannu, Manoj Pahwa
It is said that half a work is done for a filmmaker when he does the casting right. That’s another point where Anubhav Sinha was bang on. From Rishi Kapoor to Prateik Babbar, all the actors put their best to blow life into the characters. And when Rishi Kapoor and Manoj Pahwa are on the screen together, you have to expect some magic to happen. Talking about Kapoor, there’s something about him that makes us forget who he is when he steps into the shoes of a character. For 140 minutes of Mulk, he was Murad Ali Muhammad of Banaras for us, and the superstar Rishi Kapoor was nowhere to be seen. Manoj Pahwa delivered the dialogues with such a finesse, that your heart breaks when his character dies a tragic death in the film (spoiler). Taapsee Pannu’s role was more of a second lead but it’s definitely one of the most powerful ones she has ever taken. Being a Hindu girl married off to a Muslim family, Taapsee depicts the emotions of pain as well as anger in right proportions. Cherry on the cake is Neena Gupta. It’s always pleasing to watch her act. Prateik Babbar’s role was concise, but suiting the premise of the film, it manages to develop a feeling of sympathy and hatred among the audience.
Although, there were some loops and holes. The film started with great oomph but as it reached the end of the first half, the screenplay starts falling. However, it picks up pace with the start of the second half and maintains it till the end. The mention of 1992 incident is still left in dark in the film. The role of their Hindu neighbor including Chaubey and Sonkar could’ve been expanded a bit to neutralize both the sides. A great actor like Rajat Kapoor remains unexploited. He felt confined by the boundaries of his character while we wanted to see more of his magic on screen. Last but most expected, Mulk also ends with a monologue that seemingly solved the case and put a gag on the prosecutor who was otherwise so tyrannous to let even Pannu speak in the court.
All in all, Mulk is a must-watch and definitely a reality-check about something that’s happening around us more often than we admit.