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FILMISTAAN - And this small adorable film was lying unsold for two long years even after winning a national award.......what a shame! (Review by Bobby Sing)
07 Jun, 2014 | Movie Reviews / 2014 Releases

FilmistaanHuge praises for FILMISTAAN started coming in from Wednesday onwards after few media premiers and the film was unanimously loved by all especially by the typical filmy maniacs like myself. So the verdict is already out and I am also one of those Hindi film buffs who truly loved the film and the passion, intensity and madness shown by the entire team both in the front and behind the camera all together.

Hence if you just wish to know about whether its watchable or not then yes its not only watchable but is an adorably sweet, entertaining movie too, having many enjoyable references of three most talked about subjects in our country i.e., Bollywood, Cricket and Pakistan. Plus it’s a rare film talking about cross border terrorism without any kind of negativity and full of hope wherein the lead character of the script is just having great fun with everyone around enacting hilariously.
Having said that, its frankly also not a perfect movie without any flaws as is being projected in many high star reviews. The film leaves many big loopholes unaddressed in its story-plot like what was the actual reason of kidnapping, how was the warning tape used which they shot after making so much effort and what did the shooting crew do after finding one of their members missing? However despite having such big issues left as it is, FILMISTAAN does provide you the promised entertainment constantly in its two hours and doesn’t have any kind of dull moment as such in its enjoyable narration, right from the word go.
Actually the film works mainly due to its individual amusing sequences and not because of any detailed plot. It wins over the viewer largely when the characters make an instant connect in many well directed and acted scenes. Like, when Sharib (the lead actor) sings “Yaara Seeli Seeli” (to a similar tune of legendary Reshma) & “Maar Daala”, when he renders the dialogues of a complete scene from MAINE PYAR KIYA, when there is a discussion over the cricket players and a world cup match, when an old Hakim talks about his days spent in Amritsar before the partition, when Inaamul Haq (the second lead) talks about his business of pirated Indian film DVDs and when they make the ultimate plan in the end.
The scenes immediately form an emotional relationship with the viewer despite having glimpses of some similar gags of Pakistan’s famous Umar Sharif and a quite predictable progression post the intermission. But certain warmth in the brilliant natural performances and the convincing direction never lets you count anything damaging in the project and you do enjoy spending time in the theater with both the Hindi film loving characters, entertainingly interacting on the screen.
FilmistaanAs a known fact already, the film was shot at a very limited budget but the camerawork doesn’t let you feel the same at all. Background score provides the right feel at some key moments and the soundtrack (songs) neither attracts nor teases you when played intelligently in between the important sequences. Dialogues do grab your attention at times, written by Sharib himself and it was a great relief not to see any footage wasted on some silly love angle incorporated deliberately, following the set routine.
Becoming the most appealing feature of the film, Sharib Hashmi delivers an outstanding act and many might not remember that he was only the guy playing Shah Rukh Khan’s Pakistani friend in JAB TAK HAI JAAN too. Sharib completely looks like a filmy keeda in his character of Sunny Arora and so does Inaamul Haq playing the second lead making an equally impressive impact. Their chemistry together makes the second half a treat to watch and the open ending does leave you with a feeling of hope quite positively (whereas many may not like the climax too without any clear culmination). Kumud Mishra plays the terrorist perfectly and Gopal Datt supports him well as his close associate. Among the supporting cast Habib Azmi certainly deserves a special mention playing the old Haqim and the rest do perform their roles efficiently.
Summing up, such small but innovative, experimental projects need to be encouraged by the Industry people itself as the viewers are indeed ready for them in this new age of cinema undoubtedly. So do watch FILMISTAAN as a must if you love these kind of unexpected surprises made on interesting subjects in a limited budget, with no star attractions at all………….but also keep your expectations level in control in order to enjoy it more.
Rating : 3.5 / 5 (with a special mention of the effort made by the entire team and the locals too)
Further moving ahead of the review,
I would like to share a personal feeling I had while watching this lovable work by a talented team and that feeling was of pain, discomfort and repulsion, unfortunately.
FilmistaanBut before explaining the reason for it, let me first tell you the exact year this film was made in and the year it won a national award for the BEST HINDI FILM. The year was 2012 and apart from winning many other honors in numerous film festivals, it was awarded the national award for the year’s Best Hindi Film too amongst other off-beat gems like PAAN SINGH TOMAR, VICKY DONOR, KAHAANI and OHH MY GOD (announced in the beginning of 2013)
So it was 2012 when it was first applauded in the inner circles and now it’s the middle of 2014 when it has been released after being acquired by UTV, a reputed production house post a gap of two years. And within this time period, there was no gutsy buyer for the film who could believe in his own understanding of the medium and could come forward to take the risk of releasing it with some good number of screens and publicity.
Interestingly the same story happened in 2012 with PAAN SINGH TOMAR too, which also kept lying in cans for more than a year before it could reach the theaters.
Now WHY this is being witnessed repeatedly?
It is so because honestly it’s quite easy to make or invest in a safe film with a known star, ensuring you a decent opening and a sure shot sale of additional rights making a good profit or at least recovering the money invested. But its too unsafe to finance or market an offbeat product with an all unknown fresh star-cast and a director, made on a rather tricky subject.
Interpreting the situation bluntly but more realistically, probably we don’t have many producers/exhibitors at the present who can form their own confidence over a product after watching it in a private screening and then can play the gamble on a dark horse showing some strong guts. Or probably its all gone down to only money making practice in the name of film-making, at the cost of good cinema waiting for its due deserving turn with some exceptional actors, directors and subjects.
Anyhow, giving you some information about this gap period mentioned above, the director of this independent award winning film Nitin Kakkar, reportedly kept visiting several known names/producers/exhibitors showing them his film expecting a good response constantly. But no one gave him a green signal in these two long years other than just praises accompanied by no firm assurances. And as per his interview, he was made to wait for hours in the lobby of many big offices and was treated rudely too before the film was thankfully bought by UTV and now has been released in decent number of theaters as wished by Nitin and his entire team.
Now looking at the director’s personal experience, a simple question arises that,
Why many of these big shots of the industry could not judge the potential of a well made film through their own inner instinct, controlling everything sitting at the top?
Why any of them couldn’t feel the possible chances of this film winning hearts all over?
Why the big stars like the Khans, Kapoors, Kumars and more are not coming forward to take up or promote such kind of honest and worth releasing efforts being made by many independent producers individually.
Further, isn’t this short sightedness followed by the system fast becoming another kind of a big blockage or hindrance in the path of great cinema being made within the country by some talented yet unknown names?
Besides, as a concluding thought just think for a while that if a film like FILMISTAAN kept waiting for its turn, lying unsold for two long years, despite being awarded as the BEST HINDI FILM by the reputed National Award Jury……..then how many more similar or may be better small films must be roaming around in the lobbies of these production houses searching for a buyer.
No doubt the thought indeed is a quite scary one for all independent film-makers and this is the reason, why I had an inner feeling of pain, discomfort and repulsion, while leaving the theaters after thoroughly enjoying FILMISTAAN.
Anyway, with a note of thanks to UTV, I hope the thought reaches many other reputed production houses too and we get to see many more such unknown, hidden yet praiseworthy small efforts in the coming times.
(For friends who wish to read the personal interview of director Nitin Kakkar, here is the link for the same given below: )


Tags : Filmistaan Movie Review by Bobby Sing, Filmistaan Film Review By Bobby Sing, Filmistaan winning Best Film Award in 2013, Bobby Sing Bollywood Reviews, New Bollywood Movies Reviews, New Bollywood Movies Released, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com
07 Jun 2014 / Comments ( 4 )
P P Pandey

A wonderful and details review of the movie, alongwith an insight about the other sad facts about the movie narrating the disregard for the creations of not-so-popular artists in our country.

Bobby Sing

Thanks for your kind words PP Pandey and hope the scenario changes and we get to see many more small gems in the coming future, without any hurdles as such.

Vikas Saitya

Dear Bobby,

Brilliant movie with limited sources & equally brilliant review & insight.

but main QUESTION remains
"Besides, as a concluding thought just think for a while that if a film like FILMISTAAN kept waiting for its turn, lying unsold for two long years, despite being awarded as the BEST HINDI FILM by the reputed National Award Jury……..then how many more similar or may be better small films must be roaming around in the lobbies of these production houses searching for a buyer."

What about regarding our intellectual actors which only believe in sequels.

ONE +VE point, on weekdays in Fbd there is 70% occupancy that to on first half.

Best Regards
Vikas saitya

Bobby Sing

Dear Vikas,
Yes the brilliant content of the film does raise many big questions about the productions houses, exhibitors and big stars too.
But I am glad that the viewers accepted the well made film with open hands and showered much love on the same quite deservingly.


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