Of late, I have not watched many movies on my laptop. Well, Mumbai does not leave you with much time for such activites. Yesterday, I got free from office quite early and started walking back home. On the way back, I just chanced upon the DVD of this Pakistani movie Bol. I remember watching khuda ke liye, the first movie by this director, and was pretty impressed by it.
I immediately picked it up, and started watching it last evening. Boy! Was I impressed? Very! So much that I now actually want to read more about life in Pakistan and the culture and people there.
Coming to the movie – It is a thought-provoking and a compelling film, bringing the subject to light without getting too preachy or forcing the view on the audience. It brings to light the problems faced by contemporary Pakistan, and etches out the characters beautifully without disturbing the flow of the story.
The story is told from the lens of a girl, on the verge of being hanged. The story begins with Hakim saab, the father who sires one daughter after another in search of that one elusive male child. His character is the one you would find very commonly as the strict dad, brought up with the strict principles of religion in black or white. He believes that a son would bring prosperity to the family and ends up with seven daughters and a hermaphrodite. He still does not give up and believes that women are just meant to bear children and not voice their opinions.
The mother, and the daughters are all helpless, till the eldest daughter decides to BOL ( talk!). She goes to the extent of sending her hermaphrodite sibling to work, and actually getting one of her sisters marrying the boy ( Atif Aslam) she loves.
The story shows contrasts very well. For example, the neighboring family who inspite of having the same economic strata have more open views and gets his son and daughter to study medicine. The pimp, who very neatly brings out the point that his kinds would love to have a girl child, and boys are a curse there.
The message that the sex of the child is dependant on the father and has nothing to do with the mother is also very well brought out.
On the whole, the movie touches a chord, and most of it would hold very much true for any hindu indian family too. Interiors of india too faces similar problems, female infanticide being the primary among them, and it is time we make some serious attempt to rectify it.
A must watch. Shoaib Mansoor , the director of the movie, knows the art of story telling very well, and he again shows his brilliance in this movie.