Ashdoc's movie review---Sheen ( 2004 )

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Ashdoc's movie review---Sheen ( 2004 )

Post by ashdoc on Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:01 pm

In the Kashmiri language Sheen means snow , and it is a popular name given to girls there too---for their skin is as fair and white as snow .

It is also the name of the film's heroine....

And by showing the story of a fictitious beauty called Sheen , director Ashok Pandit tries to showcase the story of the Kashmiri hindus---a minority who have become refugees in their own country . May be the film will confirm to the English meaning of it's name ( sheen means to shine in reflected light in the English language ) and throw some light on the plight of the hindus of Kashmir.....

It's a plight that the nation seems to have forgotten , and is a fitting reminder to the fact that people who are non violent ( like the Kashmiri hindus are ) have no voice or weight in the world....

Those whose voice carries weight are the ones who have taken recourse to the gun , and the booming guns have changed the destinies of the Kashmir valley forever.....or so it seems....

The story begins in the late eighties when our heroine Sheen lives a carefree life in Kashmir valley . Her father is the local school teacher and teaches in an open school set in the midst of a sylvan countryside . She falls in love Mannu who is son of her dad's friend .

And what could be more fit for falling in love than the gorgeous countryside---all magnificent snow capped mountains and stunningly beautiful valleys and superb forests of Chinar trees and rivers and lakes flowing with ice cold water.....not for nothing is Kashmir known as the Switzerland of Asia , a destination for a life long romance or at least a honeymoon....

It seems the rarefied air of Kashmir and the beauty of the countryside can breed nothing but pure thoughts of tranquility ; and the Kashmiri people are indeed a gentle people---a world away from their formidable martially inclined neighbours in Punjab and the Pathan regions .

But the scientific and technological advances of the 19th century brought contact with these very neighbours to the formerly isolated Kashmiris , and the 20th century brought the clash of civilizations---one civilization being hindu and the other being muslim....

And into the vortex of this 20th century clash is caught our heroine Sheen....

Actually she wants to do nothing but lead her life along with her family and her love in the midst of the sylvan countryside , but can an individual resist the tidal wave of history ?? Especially when the history is being created by that scourge of the 21st century called Islamic fundamentalism....

Director Ashok Pandit does make a brave attempt show the world the trials and tribulations of the Hindus of Kashmir valley---a minority driven away from their land by islamic terrorists trained and abetted by Pakistan . Their tragedy is shown in all it's glory and it's pity.... It's a story of near and dear ones killed , of women's honour defiled by rapists , of administrative and police callousness towards them , of homes lost and futures destroyed , and above all of the pain of being driven out of the lands in which their ancestors had lived from thousands of years....

And Sheen has to bear this pain in all it's solitude and with fortitude---She has to bear the sight of her nation's flag burnt by traitors , and Pakistani flags raised in it's place....her lover is kidnapped by terrorists , her father is forced to close down his school to give way for a madrasa ( islamic seminary ) , her brother is brutally killed by militants , and she and her family have to leave the comforts of home to lead a life of destitution in a refugee camp in another part of the country....

Her own Hindu co religionists from other parts of the nation look down upon Kashmiri hindus , and she and her family have to live off packets of food thrown at them from trucks like they throw dog food to dogs . Worse , policemen try to prey upon her beauty with lecherous advances , reducing the life of a lady from a respectable family like herself to a den of dispair....

Yet she remains bold and courageous and outspoken among all her sorrows , just like a her father....and above all she remains a patriot---never loses her love for India....

This very courageousness sets her on a final mission---to try to reach the man she loves and who is in the clutches of terrorists , who are led by his childhood friend Shaukat , a Kashmiri muslim who has turned to the path of revolt against India . It's a mission in which Sheen is about to risk her very life....

So does she succeed in reaching and freeing Mannu---the man she loves ?? Watch the movie for that....

The story of Kashmir is tragic , and therefore the story of the film is bound to end in tragedy ; tragedy above all for the home grown Kashmiri terrorists---who do not realize until too late that those who live by the gun ultimately die by the same weapon , and do not realize that they are just an expendable tool of war for their Pakistani masters .

Music of the film ( by Nadeem Shravan ) is good , and so is the photography . Acting is decent---by everyone . The film has certainly been made with purpose if not passion.....and the purpose is laudable without doubt.....

Verdict---decent enough .

ashdoc

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