Friday, July 5, 2013

HARUD: Kashmir's Free-Falling Leaves

Slow but effective, Harud starts with scenes that grasp the viewer and, even though one might find the film’s long silences heavy to watch, the eyes and the heart of art cinema lovers will wait patiently to see what brave story unfolds.
Rafiq (Shahnawaz Bhat), Harud’s main character, has an elder brother who has disappeared due to the tension in the Kashmir region. His mother and father have difficulty in dealing with this disappearance and the ambient violence, to the point that his father (veteran Iranian actor Reza Naji) starts slowly losing his mind to depression. Rafiq’s daily life unfolds listlessly until he finds his older brother’s camera and starts to use it, finding some respite from a grey existence. 
A special mention goes to actors Mohammad Amir Naji (Rafiq's father), who is already known to be immensely talented, and to Mudessir Ahmed Khan, who despite being a starting actor, gives the film a tinge of  joy or magic to each scene he takes part in. Equally strong applause goes to Nakul Kamte. As I was watching the film, I kept wondering how such guerrilla-style film making could achieve such quality in the sound department, and it was only after I saw his name in the credits that my mystery was solved. 

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