Web content has become quite popular these days in India. Overdependence on violence and sex were the driving factors behind the popularity of several web series during the initial phase, as there was no regulation to govern the web content. This scenario is thankfully changing and the content is becoming more mature in terms of story and treatment. “Kaafir” aired on Zee5 is one such series which depends entirely on the story, script and acting of the leading cast.
Directed by – Sonam Nair
Produced by – Sapna Malhotra, Siddartha P Malhotra
Starring – Dia Mirza, Mohit Raina
Inspired by the real-life story of Shehnaz Parveen Kausar who was swept into India on the currents of Jhelum, Kaafir revolves around Kainaz Akhtar – a Pakistani girl who, due to the turn of events, unconsciously crosses the border and is found near the Poonch river on the Indian side. Since she is found in the semi-conscious state next to two other slain militants, it is presumed that she is one of them. Consequently, she is imprisoned, and during her imprisonment, she gives birth to a girl – Sehar.
Kaafir is also the story of Vedant Rathor – a lawyer who has left his practice after his younger brother was killed in a militant attack similar to the Pulwama attack. Now working as a journalist and in search of a human-interest story with an emotional angle (as asked by his boss), he comes to know about the little girl Sehar and her mother. Vedant decides to take up her fight so that she can get the justice she deserves.
Kaafir means non-believer – a person who does not believe in the almighty and has rejected the principles of religion. With the Kashmir crisis and India–Pakistan socio-political scenario in the backdrop, Kaafir is an exceptionally beautiful, emotional and relevant portrayal of the serious topic. The makers of the series, in fact, the entire cast and crew, seem to have put their souls into the making of Kaafir. Characters are deeply committed to the scenes and leave a long-lasting impression on the audience.
Dia Mirza has given the performance of her life as Kainaaz Akhtar. Expressions, body language, and dialogue delivery remain so natural and effortless that the audience immediately connects to the character, feels her emotions and struggles, and empathizes with her. Her eyes speak volumes. Similarly, Mohit Raina as Vedant Rathor is outstanding. He has ably portrayed the character of a suffering brother and a guilty son and perfectly delivers all his scenes. His performance also evokes deep emotions in the viewers. It would be a gross injustice to the talent of Dishita Jain if her performance as innocent Sehar is not mentioned.
Pratik Shah’s breathtaking cinematography has captured the mountains in all their vastness and freezing beauty. “Lootera” and “Raazi” fame Bhavani Iyer has written the story and amazing script. She had written the story long ago, but nobody in the industry was ready to invest in the story due to obvious reasons. Director Sonam Nair finally agreed and the writer-director duo together finally weaved this beauty. The icing on the cake was the culminating poem “Kaafir” by Swanand Kirkire –
“Log Ladte Hain Milne Kii Khatir,
Apni to Bichhad Jaane Ki Ladaai Thi……”
“Kaafir” breaks the stereotypes and hammers the mentality of viewers with preconceived notions. There are a few things in life which improve you as a human being. “Kaafir” is certainly going to be included in the list. Not to be missed binge-watch, if you are not allergic to sensible movies.