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Amu (2005) (English) - (Movies To See Before You Die - Drama)

24 Apr, 2009 | Movies To See Before You Die / Drama

Amu - Bobby Talks Cinema.com

After a long time, here is a movie which raises a serious question that “Whether the youth should be made familiar with the ugly part of the history of a nation or not?” Writer-Director Shonali Bose certainly deserves praises for choosing this kind of uncommon topic for her film. And she even deserves bigger applause to make a film on the trauma faced by a community which she doesn’t belong to by birth. “AMU” is a movie based on the Sikh Genocide which was witnessed in New Delhi after the shocking assassination of Mrs. India Gandhi, then, the famous Prime Minister of the Country.

Normally you expect a movie on such burning topic coming from the people of the victim community only like “Maachis” directed by Gulzar, who originally belongs to a Sikh background. And therefore could easily relate to and understand the problems faced by Punjab and its people in those times of deadly terrorist movements of the 80s. The fact is clearly visible in his widely acclaimed movie on the subject. But to my amazement the helpless agony and pain of the brutal killings brilliantly expressed in “Amu”, comes from a person who is a Bengali. May be she had some kind of relationship with the happening personally or through a close relation or friend. But in any case, this is a pure example of how a human heart can feel the pain suffered by another human irrespective of their caste, community differences or regional disparity. In fact I was awestruck viewing the film and couldn’t believe how intelligently the subject was handled by the Bengali writer and director, Shonali Bose.
Amu narrates the story of a small girl whose parents are killed in the Sikh Genocide and then she is adopted by a Bengali family out of compassion. She is living with the family abroad and now when has turned into a young lady, she gets a chance to visit Delhi for a family function. Coming back to the city she feels somehow attached to the surroundings and finds it quite strange. With the help of her friend she discovers her past and comes to know the ugly history of the city which everybody is vaguely trying to hide from the youngsters. Surprisingly, though the movie is about the organised attacks in the city, there are only few scenes showing the angry, mad crowd killing people and destroying properties. Instead the director emphasizes more on the victims and the people who unknowingly participated in that cowardly act and now deeply regret being a part of it.
It is indeed remarkable on the part of its director that in a story based on the unbelievable killings, you are still able to feel the brutal torture realistically without any visual representation of the open blood-bath on the roads. That may be the reason why the movie was allowed a Censor Certificate in India only after several important cuts and removal of some provoking dialogues. Still it could only manage an insignificant and unpublicized release in the theaters which was a huge loss for both the makers and lovers of quality cinema. Luckily, it is now available on DVD along with some exclusive extra features related to its making. 
Coming back to that valuable question raised by the film, the youth of a nation should essentially be made familiar to both the good and the bad past of a country as a part of the basic education. Because its this impartial knowledge of the bygone years only, which will in turn help them in becoming a better person.
“Amu” is one of those rare movies made on this issue, very close to a cruel reality which could have been easily avoided by the authorities through some quick action. It is a must watch for all those who were part of that tough time in Delhi and it’s an even more essential watch for those who have just read or got to know about it recently. No doubt a well-made film deserving a standing ovation for choosing the unconventional subject and executing it brilliantly on screen like no-one has ever done till date.
Directed By Shonali Bose
Starring : Konkona Sen, Yashpal Sharma, Brinda Karat, Ankur Khanna, Loveleen Mishra & more.

Tags : Amu (2005) Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Shonali Bose film on 1984, English Hindi film on Delhi 1984, 84 Genocide in Delhi, Movies to See Before You Die, Must See Movies List By Bobby Sing
24 Apr 2009 / Comment ( 0 )
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