Directed by: Meghna Gulzar
Produced by: Vineet Jain, Karan Johar, Hiroo Yash Johar, Apoorva Mehta
Screenplay by: Bhavani Iyer, Meghna Gulzar
Based on: “Calling Sehmat” by Harinder Sikka
Cast: Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal
Music by: Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy
Cinematography: Jay I. Patel
Edited by: Nitin Baid
Production company: Junglee Pictures, Dharma Productions
Release date: 11 May 2018
Running time: 2 hours and 18 minutes
Claimed to be based on real-life incidents, it’s a story set in 1971, during which India and Pakistan were having tense relations. A naïve and gentle Kashmiri girl, Sehmat Khan (Alia Bhatt) is married into a Pakistani family by her father Hidayat Khan (Rajit Kapoor), so that she can extract vital information without getting anyone in Pakistan, know of her intentions. She is provided rigorous training before she makes this sacrificial attempt for India. Her husband, Khalid (Vicky Kaushal) is a stoic patriot for his nation, Pakistan and the movie doesn’t fall short of depicting the uneasy yet respectful relationship between the two. There are several times in the movie when she faces negative remarks against her own country, but that doesn’t deter her confidence and dedication to continue the mission that she came for.
The heart-breaking drama portrays the Khans as the ideal Kashmiris who are willing to sacrifice their lives for the nation and undertake any risk that may come. Far from the glamorous avatars, Alia Bhatt once again reflects the assiduous hard work she must have employed, to achieve the perfection in her powerful role. Her teary eyes and loud wailing will move your soul. The pace of the movie is natural and the transformation of Sehmat’s character from gullible to mature, is quite subtle. The songs written by ever-brilliant Gulzar, evoke patriotism in your veins. Considering the current situation in Kashmir, the movie ensures it is balanced so that no anger is provoked among people.
There are more emotional explosions than that of violence, so you better be prepared to get too fervidly involved in the plot. The movie would provide an insight into how the life of ordinary people was, back in the 1970s. The stellar performances given by the leading young stars should not be missed.