'Mulk', though commendable and applause-worthy for its central theme alone, deserves being watched because it is an unexpected, moving film with a layered narrative about Islamophobia in India. It is subtle and comes with its emotional highs which makes it equally entertaining and core-rattling. Anubhav Sinha is actually the one here who deserves an applause for making the characters resonant and captivating enough to keep us entertained and hooked to the screens. Taapsee Pannu gives one of the career-best performances after 'Rumi' in Manmarziyan, and RisKapoor is unmatched- but Manoj Pahwa is a special find here in a funny yet blazing supporting character. It's a three-and-a-half stars rating out of five for Anubhav Sinha's 'Mulk'. It is a gripping film which tells a story with sincerity.
If Mulk was a documentary, I would take it more seriously for the diversity of issues and their severity that it brings to the fore is amazing. I was enthralled by how brutally honest writer Sinha is in his dialogues, but all of that does not translate in the present setup. The final 30 minutes of Mulk are extraordinarily fantastical, which is why I will recommend you to watch it but also request you to take the proceedings with a pinch of salt. TN.
Whether we like it or not, we live in a nation which has a significant number of people who gets easily swayed whenever the topic of "religion' comes up. As expected, many politicians use this strategy to their benefit by taking advantage of such gullible individuals. Even though we have developed as a nation in various aspects such as science, technology, education etc., we have failed to keep religious prejudices at bay. The fact is if such prejudices are left unchecked, it is powerful enough to unleash disharmony in the nation & we are already witness to such incidents rather frequently. This is exactly what is discussed in Anubhav Sinha's "Mulk", but is it too preachy & filmy or a replica of the ground reality???
Advocate Murad Ali (Rishi Kapoor) lived with his family in their ancestral home in Banaras & shared a warm relationship with everyone in the neighbourhood Things moved along smoothly until his nephew Shahid (Prateik Babbar) gets involved in a bomb blast that claims numerous lives. It turned out that he was influenced into becoming an extremist & was eventually shot dead in an encounter. The investigation team led by SSP Danish Javed (Rajat Kapoor) refused to believe that Shahid's family had no clue about his terrorist involvement. To make matters worse, circumstantial evidence seemed to indicate that Shahid's father Bilal (Manoj Pahwa) facilitated in the execution of his son's plan. This creates unrest in the locality with Murad Ali & his family isolated & insulted by even their friends & neighbours. However, that didn't deter Murad & his daughter in law, Arti (Taapsee Pannu) to seek justice & regain honour for their family who were innocent of Shahid's misendeavours.
Anubhav Sinha came into the industry with a bang with an unexpected hit in the form of "Tum Bin", but couldnt quite recreate that form ever since. He had also helmed "Ra One" which was slammed by many, though I kinda liked the concept. However, I have no doubt that his latest release would be well received as it is his best work to date. Apart from calling the shots, he has also penned the script & it is evident that he has done his homework with regard to the prejudices that the Muslim community faces for some rotten apples in their midst. The movie doesn't grow on us in the first hour, but the moment the courtroom drama starts, you can rest assured to be completely engrossed. As for other technical aspects, the manner in which the court scenes were impressively picturised by Ewan Mulligan & the presence of Taapsee reminded me of "Pink".
Rishi Kapoor has been lucky to get some meaty roles in the last couple of years & this one is no different as he has aced his part with elan. Giving him apt competition was Taapsee who in recent times have started to carve a niche for herself with some exceptional performances & this role will feature as one of the finest in her career. Similarly, Ashutosh Rana, Rajat Kapoor, Manoj Pahwa & Kumud Mishra have all excelled in their parts which has gone a long way in elevating the viewing experience.
Verdict: It can definitely not be tagged as an entertainer but rather as a mirror for the society that seems to get narrow minded due to religious prejudices. It's a movie that needs to be watched as it is rooted in reality & even as a celluloid creation, you will love the last 30 minutes. In short, don't miss it!!!