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Mulk Movie Pathankot PVR Cinemas Timings Book Tickets
Show Timings in PVR: 10:05 12:25 18:00
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Based on a real-life story, Mulk revolves around the struggles of a Muslim joint family from a small town in India, who fight to reclaim their honour after a member of their family takes to terrorism.
I can’t be blamed for being skeptical about Mulk. The Rishi Kapoor-Taapsee Pannu starrer appeared to be another piece of mainstream entertainment banking on a topical issue, in this case discrimination against Muslims in India, to score points. Mulk is written and directed by Anubhav Sinha, who in his previous films like Dus, Ra.One and Tum Bin II has shown no inclination of political awareness. Something about Mulk surely felt like a cynical exercise.
Well, colour me surprised. Mulk is a finely made film, a nuanced yet crowd pleasing attempt at fitting in a lot of thoughts about the Muslim community’s place in Indian society.
The film is shot beautifully by Ewan Mulligan. The cast of the film is great all around with underrated actors like Ashutosh Rana, Kumud Mishra and Manoj Pahwa getting meaty parts. I was especially glad to see Neena Gupta, who definitely goes to court. But ultimately Sinha deserves a lot of credit.
Mulk complicates this simply by showing the Mohammeds at the center of the story as a typical Muslim family but also, you know, decent folks. When one of their own is involved in a terrorist attack, they are forced to prove their innocence but more importantly, their decency.
There are a lot of topical asides in the film, with references to demonetisation, the RSS and talk of “aaj kal ka mahaul”. The most interesting is Rajat Kapoor’s SSP Danish Javed, who sends up red flags when he is introduced. Here is an apparent ‘good Muslim’ authority figure as the cliche goes. The movie upends this by depicting him as a self-hating trigger happy opportunist. It’s a fascinating character that left me wanting more.
There is a lot of such lived-in nuance in Mulk, and the film uses it like a scalpel to address the anxieties that Indian Muslims have to deal with every day. Murad Ali with his kurta, beard and skull cap is seen as less of a person than a signifier. However, he is also a retired advocate who only started growing his beard because “hamare yahaan sunnat hai.” My own father has recently retired and given in to the comforts of a kurta, and every time he steps out I worry if he would be seen as “too Muslim”. Mulk posits: who are we to tell these old men how to live?