The story of Pushker Nath Pandit (Anupam Kher) and his family is told in The Kashmir Files. It’s a story of rotten optimism, a dismal system, the struggle for one’s dignity, and the circle of deception all at once.
In 1990, as Kashmir resonated under the announcements of Raliv Galiv ya Chaliv, five lakh Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave everything behind. After that, the rest is history. Forgotten.
Anupam Kher, Pallavi Joshi, Bhasha Sumbli, Darshan Kumaar, and others give powerful performances in this film directed by Vivek Agnihotri.
Darshan Kumar’s transformation into Krishna Pandit, a JNU student, is natural, genuine, and notable. Radhika Menon’s portrayal of a liberal professor falls flat with the audience. The casting for the film should have been better.
Agnihotri’s storyline, which depicts events in the cruelest and explosive way possible, elicits a wide range of emotions through some of the best performances, emotionally touching scenes, and a few barbarous passages. Ralive, Tsalive ya Galive – convert to Islam, leave or die — these words reverberate in your head for a long time after seeing the video, and one can only imagine what it must have been like for those whose days and nights were threatened by it.
The film isn’t really a re-enactment of Schindler’s List. It is daring enough to draw comparisons with the Holocaust perpetrated by Nazis against Jews during World War II. It makes sense, but it lacks sensibility. The movie isn’t exactly a letdown. It’s worth watching for its attempt to break out of the confines. Despite the story’s potential, there are far too few goose-bump-inducing moments in the film, owing to a lack of variation in reactions during tragic, sorrowful, and enticing scenes.
The Kashmir Files is a film that draws you into an emotional experience before returning you to your everyday life. A sensible matter like this deserved much more sensibility.