The Kashmir Files is a raw, anguished cry for attention. The emotionally charged film, which is based on a true event, shines a light on the problems faced by Kashmiri Pandits (Hindus), a religious minority in the 1990s Kashmir valley who were forced to flee their homes by Islamic terrorists.
Director: Vivek Agnihotri
Writers: Vivek Agnihotri, Saurabh M. Pandey(additional screenplay & dialogue)
Stars: Mithun Chakraborty, Anupam Kher, Darshan Kumaar
The documentary, which was based on testimonials of the survivors, makes a compelling case that it wasn’t simply an exodus, but rather a ruthless genocide that has been overlooked due to political considerations. Despite the fact that their houses and businesses were encroached by the locals, the Kashmiri Pandits (KP) continue to hope for justice and most importantly, acknowledgment. Despite its devastating effects on evicted families, not many films have addressed this issue.
Voices being silenced appears to be a typical nightmare, whether it’s an ideology, religion, or hardship. Kashmir has been grappling with a humanitarian crisis, cross-border terrorism, separatist movements, and attempts at self-determination since it was lost as a utopia. Its scars run deep, and The Kashmir Files tears off the band-aid, as a once-prosperous and multi-cultural nation that is now an uncertain territory struggling to stabilize itself amid the continuous stress. We strive for truth in a little under three hours. But, as they say, each truth has two sides.
Vivek Agnihotri’s unflinching and graphic drama revisits the Exodus and its repercussions. It depicts the atrocities inflicted on KP’s as a result of their religion, including that of telecom engineer BK Ganjoo being murdered in a rice barrel, or Nadimarg Massacre, where 24 Hindu Kashmiri Pandits were murdered by militants disguised in combat gear. The film recounts these true stories and we see them through the eyes of Pushkar Nath Pandit (Anupam Kher), his four closest pals, and his undecided grandson Krishna (Darshan Kumaar). Krishna’s quest for truth drives the narrative.
Reopening old wounds may not offer a solution, but only when the trauma is accepted can healing take place. Agnihotri goes all out without watering down the facts, which makes his film an exciting watch. He prefers shocking methods to subtlety. The tale is somewhat muddled and full of he-said-she-said arguments; you don’t feel at one with the characters or comprehend their mentality. The narrative dabbles over several themes, including Digs at JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University), media being compared to terrorist propaganda, selective reporting of foreign news, the Indian military, political warfare, abrogation of Article 370, and mythology and ancient history of Kashmir. The story of Pushkar Nath Pandit and his struggle will make you cry, but he gets lost in the muck somewhere, so the film feels longer and less detailed. There’s too much chaos, not enough context. The right to dissent and opposing opinions are recognized, but such one-dimensional characters barely scratch the surface, so the effort of attempting to balance competing views appears more formal.
Anupam Kher’s heartfelt performance makes your eyes water. When it comes to being a guy yearning for his lost homeland, Kher is outstanding. Pallavi Joshi also does a wonderful job. You would wish that her character was more developed because of her acting ability. Mandlekar and Chakraborty are decent in their parts.
Shikara, a romantic film by Vidyut Choudhry, drew criticism for not being the untold tale of Kashmiri Pandits as advertised. It did, however, help you to get closer to their culture, suffering, and state of hopelessness. Vivek Agnihotri does not shirk from the issue. He makes sure that the politics and violence are addressed. The experience of being uprooted from your homeland hangs over…