There are essentially two kinds of war movies the ones with the battles and heroic performances and the ones that show the grim, grotesque and inhumane side. Most war movies today focuses on realism, on the tension and violence, often forgetting that soldiers are human and therefore there is also a part of comedy.
Kya Dilli Kya Lahore offers a hilarious yet emotional story of a bond shared by an Indian and a Pakistani soldier, with the film is not only built on a strong and engaging situation, but is also tense and attentive to the language with an imaginary epic soiled and suffering from poor desperate existences, as also defraud of that dignity to which even the most painful events in the mythical world could confer honour where there is only disillusionment, sadness and bewilderment, and where it is even more ridiculous to die.
Starring Vijay Raaz, a Pakistani jawan, Rajendranath Zutshi, a postman working for the Indian army, Vishwajeet Pradhan a captain with the Pakistani Army and Manu Rishi, a cook attached to an Indian army battalion posted at the border, the pain of partition, the most traumatic and harrowing chapter in the history of India, is the crux of the film and advocates peace and is stoutly anti-war.
Set in 1948 immediately after India's Independence, two soldiers, Vijay Raaz who had lived all his life in Delhi's Chandni Chowk migrated from Delhi to Lahore at the time of partition and Manu Rishi, a Indian, who has migrated from Lahore to Delhi are isolated between the two enemy lines.
A Pakistani captain fearing that the Indians will attack Lahore sends Vijay over to the Indian side, to steal a mythical blue-print about a tunnel being built by Indians from Delhi to Lahore with the situation becomes increasingly tense and the two soldiers have to negotiate the price of their lives in the madness of war.
As the film unfolds, we get to know the differences and similarities between Vijay Raaz Manu and in the course of the film, the audience is told of the humiliation hat they are subjected to as they become refugees in their new homelands as they recall their childhood in Delhi and Lahore respectively and get emotional.
It would be enough to prove it, the sequence in which the sun dispels the fog at night, with a sense of relief which is immediately followed by a scene of carnage between farce and tragedy, even worse from the trenches and this is the world of men thrown into landfill war.
And farce and tragedy are alternated in the film with the ingenious detour that sends the viewer to Indo-Pak border that is witnessing a comedy of the absurd, attributing to the protagonists of the interweaving of the same age-old ethnic hatred assessments that are in the room thinking of them.
The film a poignant reminder of the futility of war, and the tragic waste of human lives marries sensitivity with bits of angst and melodrama, that leaves an impact but the tragedy is its space, a kind of theatrical backdrop from which it will be impossible to get out of the situation is made even more clearly when they stage the pantomime stage without uniforms to attract the attention of the outside world with a more accurate metaphor for the human assembly.
Still, the flow goes from farce to tragedy, each time apparently difficult to draw in some temporary burst of understanding, again aborted hatred yet the preciousness of this practice is gathered with evidence in the dispute fable on which faction has wanted war in a highly dialectical moment, solved the same way but with the roles reversed in adjacent and different scenes.
He is right who has the gun in his hand and then you come to the paradoxical conclusion that the axiom for those who are helpless wanted the war to his own spontaneous admission, under the threat of arms. The logic of the arguments camped throughout the film subsumes the sarcastic trend with the first sequence of the film poses clearly the correct starting point and loads the rest of the film in a chilling awareness.
All of this is frighteningly true with the bullets whizzing around the turn of the militia and penetrate the bodies with an impressive realism and the prologue leaves no room for representation, where fog, trees, sunrise are natural elements in which immerses the tragedy becoming hyper-realistic and what comes after as maintained on a didactic tone and popular representation is, it is still a sarcastic comedy where you cannot ignore the impression of truth that comes from fear in the dark blue of the night with the dominant terror.
Awakening with the clear morning light that gradually rises on the horizon decreeing the death in that inescapable observation of the sign of sunlight that advances relentlessly to uncover increasingly large portions of land and the enemy batteries, with the horror that is tied to this revelation.
What comes next is degeneration of the simple truth about what is clearly evident from the use of weapons that beam of light that dispels the darkness, and the comic tone only serves to make more bitter impotence of reason, sanctioned and contradictory which reverses its closure to make it even more impractical negotiation, because we are not like them, without realizing that it tends to trigger the same mechanisms with both sides bring their rifles slung over their shoulder rather than place them.
And for a time when both sides wonder the same thing, the intervention of the inadequate can only be deleterious even when pursuing the usual procedure not to intervene, and anguish of those who remain alone with a bomb.
The images thus lose meaning after the first sequences with tremendously realistic documentary showing how easy it is terrifying to die, the other shots that are reminiscent of the theatre facility in the microcosm of the situation in which enemies are forced to live and remain impressed the most comical obscure, where the beasts are common men but the real star of the film is the word, that can still excite and insinuate doubts.
Apart from value judgments, it is of particular relevance considering that the topic is war but it is not the classic pompous war film, with few characters that moves the audience. Far from offering a spectacular representation and fiction of a complex of military actions, this film track the human and realistic two antiheroes, who are randomly, forced against their will to trench warfare in raw and colourless lands and portrays a very human and controversial relationship, with a precarious balance between friendship and hostility and the emblematic moment when they discover enthusiastically to have something in common among each other.
And this is one of the most disturbing sides of the wars that are ignored by the mainstream war films. Celebrating the absurdity of war is completed with a not too subtle denunciation of the greed, which in spite of the declared intentions pursue a policy of non-intervention, to the stickiness and the inappropriateness of the decisions of political leaders.
In short, the image must be guaranteed and safeguarded, according to a law of least effort that presupposes the concealment of failures or events or uncomfortable choking of the impulses of zeal of subordinates, And yet it is a film that occasionally advises that man has the right to fault, but you can not fool yourself and expect a happy ending as in war there is no happy ending.
A film documenting an aspect of what we now call you want the side effects of a war clearly exposes the absurdity and inhumanity of war and shows the futility and disrespectful expendability of the lives especially in front of the decisions taken by slimy blinded planners of omnipotence.
But the great merit of this film is that of knowing how to laugh at first, then of proposing any coherent reasons why there's nothing to laugh at, and slams us in the face without mercy the hardness of the conflict and its gloomy contradictions, the two men, who almost become friends.
At other times, abuses fly freely, often gun shots are heard too as both argue over which side ditched whom and who is responsible for the troubles. There are philosophical exchanges on issues concerning power. giving a humorous thrill to the drama, the horror of moving elsewhere and retaining only there for the surprise incomprehensible event, as if those who are experiencing were crystal clear and there is in that provincialism sentence and the carelessness of the world, focused only on issues that are close and diligent as ever to the distant situations offered with a comment that does not mean anything.
The credible performances make it worth watching. Vijay Raaz has acted with wit and conviction deserves applause for picking a story based on Partition as his directorial debut and treating it sensitively and then decided to tell the story as a parable tinged with humour with the end does not make you laugh, you choke in the throat bringing you back relentless horror of war.
But it is Manu Rishi who gets a nod with a round of applause from the audience. The Songs and Compelling dialogues by Gulzar are a great value-add and watch the film for its amazing climax that will certainly touch you and its rich, evocative poetic optimism will stay with you for long.
A film to reflect, it is certainly a film about the Indo-Pak hostility, but even more is a sarcastic and extremely pessimistic reflection about the inability of nations to understand itself and its neighbours.
Bollywood has definitely learnt the art of making quality promos with Karan Arora’s May release Kya Dilli Kya Lahore has got everyone intrigued, both fans and non-fans alike, and the movie certainly has their attention. The movie seems to have all the right elements put together and is a directorial debut of Vijay Raaz with the classic backdrop of Indo-Pak partition, with Gulzar saab as the presenter of the movie.
The trailer of the film reveals that it’s an ironic satirical story of pride and survival that evolves into a journey of human connection with an unforeseeable end. Is it a typical Indo-Pak rivalry film? Or is it about attempting to bring the two countries together? There are many questions that come to your mind. What’s the trailer all about?
The promo begins with two Pakistani soldiers with Vijay Raaz as the lead actor in the battlefield in the backdrop of bullets still holding on to their pride with usual rouse in their voices and in quest for an elusive Indian file that seems stolen. The makers tantalize you with some satirical banter between soldiers from both sides with a twist towards the end in their attitudes.