Ramchand Pakistani (drama) Reviews
Ramchand Pakistani (drama)
Cast: Nandita Das, Syed Fazal Hussain, Rashid Farooqi, Maria Wasti
Direction: Mehreen Jabbar
After Khuda Kay Liye, comes Ramchand Pakistani. What’s heartening is the fact that this film too tells a compelling story culled from today’s headlines and proves that change is indeed the cornerstone of Pakistani cinema currently.
The film deals with the topical issue of cross-border prisoners who are languishing in jails, both in India and Pakistani, often, for no reason at all. It’s only now that human rights’ organisations have begun to take note of their plight. Otherwise, seven-year-old Ramchand Pakistani who strayed into India territory, accidentally, after fighting with his mother (Nandita Das) for tea, might have remained an untold story, now and forever. The film is based on a real-life case about a Pakistani father-son duo who spent years in an Indian prison, simply because they were mistaken for spies.
While the son strays into Indian territory, the worried father follows him and the two end up wasting years of their life, while officialese takes over. The seven-year-old struggles to adjust in his new environs which are cold, cruel and completely hostile, while the father battles to protect him from all perverse influences and ends up being beaten up for his fatherly instincts. Soon, it’s the camaraderie of the fellow prisoners that provides them relief and helps them cope with dignity, despite their undignified surroundings.
The film is gentle, low key and very realistic as it documents the struggles of the prisoners. While young Ramchand finds new friends, specially in the cynical cop (Maria Wasti) who tutors him, despite treating him as an untouchable, the odd assemblage of prisoners present a microcosm of humanity that strives to lead a life sans borders, religious and caste divides. Watch out for some moving sequences between the father and son and some fine performances by the ensemble of actors.