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A movie with a message!
Jun 26, 2009 12:40 PM 2057 Views
(Updated Jun 26, 2009 12:59 PM)





3 decent Bollywood movie, due to the producers-multiplexes stand-off and finally, yesterday night, I saw a Bollywood movie, that I had been looking forward to since I saw its trailer in February. NEW YORKdeals with one of the most important (actually THE most important) issues which the world is facing today; namely terrorism and its impact upon ordinary people.

NEW YORK tells the story of three college friends, Sameer aka Sam (John Abraham), Maya (Katrina Kaif) and Omar Ejaz (Neil Nitin Mukesh). Seven years after the 9/11 incident and since his college days came to an end, Omar is arrested by the FBI, and is kept in detention until and unless the FBI officer, Roshan (Irrfan Khan), responsible for Omar`s case, is satisfied with his answers. Omar is told that he is suspected of being involved in the 9/11 attacks and is questioned about his college days and his friends in those times. The movie goes into a flashback (actually flashbacks) when Omar recalls those days when he joined a New York University in 1999 and met Maya and Sam there.

Maya, an Indian by origin but born and raised in the USA, was the typical college girl; bubbly and vivacious and full of life while Sam was the 'cool guy', the hero of his batch who used to excel in every types of sports and activities. It did not take Omar long to become their best friend and together, Maya, Sam and Omar were a group. However, Omar starts falling in love with Maya but is disappointed to learn that Maya loves Sam and vice versa. Just when Omar impliedly tells Maya about his love for her, news spreads all over about the 9/11 incident; the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York. Roshan tells Omar, that his old friend Sam is a terrorist and the reason for Omar`s detention is that the FBI wants him to stay with Sam and spy on him. Omar is also told that Sam and Maya are married to each other and have a son.

Omar is told that if he does not co-operate with the FBI, he might have to face painful consequences. Reluctantly, Omar agrees to do so. Omar meets Sam and Maya and stays with them in their house. Omar tries a lot to find out whether Sam really is a terrorist or not, but doesn`t find a hint of any terrorist behaviour in Sam, until one day he finds out Sam`s truth and is shocked...what made Sam turn into such a merciless criminal? What will be the effect of Sam`s activities be on Sam, Maya and Omar? AND how can their lives be normal again? For this, you have to see NEW YORK...

NEW YORK is a movie which entertains, which keeps you on the edge of your seat, which disturbs and most importantly which makes you think...The movie makes you think whether Amercia is to be blamed for the whole terrorism situation which exists today or is it the Jehadists who are responsible for the current scenario. This movie does not talk about terrorists who were involved in the 9/11 attacks but ordinary people who were turned into terrorists following the 9/11 attacks and America`s insensitive and immature and irrational way of dealing with the 9/11 issue. The film discusses the impact of those ethnic minorities, mainly Muslims, living in the USA, who were unnecessarily arrested and detained for as long as 9 months or even more on unreasonable grounds of suspicion of being involved in the 9/11 terrorist attack.

The scenes where they show the treatment of such suspects by the USA police authority are disturbing and they even make you feel sick. When these suspects were released, they couldn`t overcome the humiliation and torture they were subjected to...shouldn`t America have dealt with this whole issue in a more rational way? Didn`t they actually end up creating more terrorists than controlling terrorism? AND the more important message that the film carries with it is that terrorism as revenge of such humiliation does not end problems, ends up creating even more terrorists, more violence and more hatred within the world. The film ends on a very thoughtful note, that leaving our disappointments aside, we should start afresh...we should forget our past and do something for tomorrow for the future generation, so that they don`t have to witness such horrible events as our current generation has had to face. Neither a Guantanamo Bay nor bomb blasts would remedy the present is positivity and hope which might change everything and just for giving this message, I appreciate this`s high time we realise this!

Another good thing about the movie is that it is not anti-Islam nor just highlights the mistakes made by those responsible for the terrorism situation that exists does not really tell what is the correct Islam or what is the correct way of life or what should be done; rather, it tells what should not be done and that is REVENGE, which would lead to further violence and hatred.

There are a number of scenes which leave a mark, most notably:

-When Neil sees Katrina for the first time after 7 years at her son`s school

-The scene where Neil shoots a robber and John asks him to leave his house

-The interval scene where Neil learns about John`s truth

-John`s torture scenes in prison , which are surely quite disturbing and GROSS, but true!

-When Zalgai, another victim of terrorist suspicion commits suicide

-The climax, which is quite gripping (a bit of a drag, though) and unexpected, plus sad and disturbing

While the first half of the movie is relatively light and entertaining (the college scenes of the three friends are quite natural), the second half is more intense and dark and towards the end the film drags a bit...but the film ends up on a good, positive note, which makes you feel that spending those 2-3 hours was worth it, so all in all, director Kabir Khan has done a good job.

As far as acting is concerned...Katrina Kaif really impressed me because (a) this was a challenging role for her because unlike most of her roles where she just has to sing and dance and look pretty, her role had a lot of substance here, (b) the role suited her a lot; that of an american born desi girl..the english accent in her hindi goes perfectly well with her role, (c) her voice wasn`t dubbed thank God and (d) she actually acted very well...especially in the scene where Zalgai jumps off the roof and in the climax. John Abraham is his usual self in the first half but in the second half he manages to look different from what we`ve usually seen him as...he looks believable in playing his character. Neil Nitin Mukesh is good...first as a nerdy kind of a guy in the first half and as an innocent victim of circumstances in the second half. Irrfan, as usual is very spontaneous and manages to leave an impact.

On the whole, NEW YORK is a movie which though disturbing, dark and a drag (three Ds, wow!) is worth watching because it has a message to deliver, which is very relevant in today`s times...we`ve had a lot of dancing and singing and kambakkth`s time to think now, what say?

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