Monday, July 1, 2013

The K File (2012): A Short Film By Oorvazi Irani

A daring, ambitious film based on a story by Farrukh Dhondy

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review

By Murtaza Ali

The K Film, A Short Film by Oorvazi Irani

The K File is a 2012 short film directed by acting coach, educationalist and independent filmmaker Oorvazi Irani. Based on a story and screenplay by the renowned playwright and writer Farrukh Dhondy, the movie presents a unique solution to a great moral dilemma that had engulfed our nation and haunted its leaders for almost half a decade. The nightmarish reality of the 2008 Mumbai attacks shook us all to the core. Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, a Pakistani militant and a member of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, was the only attacker to have been captured alive by police. While Kasab was finally awarded the death penalty by the trial court on the 6th May 2010, it was not until the 21st November 2012 that the verdict was actually exercised. Now the delay could be easily attributed to the various legalities involved. After all, the constitution of Indian provides the accused with the right to appeal at different levels during the course of a trial. But, there was obviously a political angle involved as well which played its part in the further procrastination of the proceedings. The brilliance of The K File lies in the fact that it touches upon the explicit as well as the implicit in the most subtle fashion. The movie mixes fact with fiction, leveraging upon the power of cinema, to conjure up an otherwise nonexistent parallel reality. The fact and fiction blend in so seamlessly that after the first few moments it becomes almost meaningless to separate the two. The viewer gets sucked into this hyper real world as he/she witnesses the events unfold right in front of his/her eyes. And, needless to say, Oorvazi and team achieve all this and more in the most striking and skillful manner.
"The K File is about secret audience wish fulfilment in the thriller genre. Farrukh Dhondy's story and screenplay empowered me to mirror our contemporary issues."
—Oorvazi Irani, Director
Cinema is the greatest means of communication ever devised, for the message reaches everywhere and to everyone. While the masses look upon cinema as a great means of entertainment, they fail to acknowledge its power as a great source of leaning and education. Commercial filmmaking is partly responsible for this lack of awareness about cinema. While speaking about international cinema it's imperative that one also talks about the independent filmmakers. This highly determined breed of artists, buoyed by their inexorable passion for cinema and undeterred by the paucity of resources, play a pivotal role in the constant evolution of cinema. These ingenious filmmakers prove to be a formidable driving force by inoculating the world of cinema with their novel, revolutionary ideas which from time to time lay the foundations of much grander works of art. These ideas also play a pivotal role in the rediscovery, improvisation and development of various attributes of cinema that make it the ultimate medium of human expression. A great facet about movies that’s often overlooked is that they can serve as a great means to indentify as well as find solutions to all the quotidian problems. Since the commercial filmmakers these days seem to mainly focus on the frivolous, the onus once again lies with the independent filmmakers to capture and contemplate upon what’s truly real. The K File is one such honest attempt on the part of its makers to demonstrate how sophisticated and consummate a medium cinema actually is.  
"I was asked for a current story by the director. I was reading a newspaper and came up with this idea. In my opinion, Kasab is a tool in the hands of Islamist terror groups."
—Farrukh Dhondy, Screenwriter
Despite the seemingly obvious, The K File is not merely limited to providing a solution to the great dilemma surrounding the trial of Kasab and in actuality is far broader in scope. It is for this reason the movie hasn’t lost any of its relevance even today now that chapter of Kasab seem to have been closed. For, Kasab’s hanging doesn’t change the reality that our leaders lack the vision and moral values needed to exorcise the ghost of terrorism. Despite spending billions on our Defense budget, we still find ourselves incapable of formulating stringent policies and laws needed to curb terrorism and the forces that breed it. If a country like the US can have such a strong stance of not negotiating with the terrorists under any condition why can't India? Our weakness in this regard is best underlined by the Kandahar hijack incident of December 1999. The beneficiary Masood Azhar since his handover (by the Indian government) to the hijackers of Indian Airlines Flight 814 at Kandahar has gone on to mastermind several terrorist attacks against India. Isn’t it preposterous that despite knowing that terrorism has no religion, we—the leaders, media, and the masses—talk of “Hindu Terrorists” and “Islamic Terrorists” as if they were two distinct entities? We all need to be educated about "terrorism" the same way we need to be educated about "sex" in order to increase the awareness levels. The ignorance might very well make us vulnerable to our enemies, if not today perhaps in the days to come. After all, what is Naxalism but a form of terrorism bred by the germ of ignorance!
"The spirits of Satyajit Ray, Abbas Kiarostami, Fran├žois Truffaut were hovering around in my consciousness amidst the mundane challenges of ordering a real wasp from Gujarat, dealing with my shooting being stopped by a Film Union Inspector, paying a hefty fine for breaking the real revolver, and finally racing against the setting sun to complete my climax."
—Oorvazi Irani, Director
The K File touches upon so many critical aspects within a shot duration of ten minutes. The film can be appreciated in so many ways. One way to look upon it is as a propaganda film. Another way to asses it is to see it as a social and a political commentary. While the movie has several elements of a documentary, its hyperrealistic feel elevate it to a whole new level. The K File also proves to be an effective lampoon on moral and cultural decadence. While the director and the writer need to be lauded for their efforts, a fair share of the credit must also go the two actors Sanjay Nath and Tushar Ishwar who brilliantly essay the roles of the terrorist and the home minister, respectively. The level of realism that these two seasoned actors bring into the movie is indeed commendable. While the movie’s opening scene wherein the terrorist nonchalantly demands the prison guards to arrange for a plate of mutton biryani in order to fulfill his final wish is a master class in itself, the final scene of the movie that finally resolves the dilemma to the catch 22 situation faced by the Machiavellian minister—albeit in a rather wacky manner—makes for an absolutely jaw-dropping climax.        

Overall, The K File is an enthralling film with deep hidden meanings. The movie being is a great specimen of filmmaking is a must watch for the students of cinema. And it’s of utmost importance, in my humble opinion, for every Indian to spare ten minutes out of his/her busy schedule in order to watch the movie. The K File is available for free screening on YouTube.  

The K File (2012): Full Movie


Please note that this review was originally published at TheKFileMovie.COM

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your feedback is highly appreciated!  

For more information on the title, please click on the following links:

About the Director - 
Oorvazi Irani, , Director of the short film "Mamaji" aka (Grandmother)
The young and dynamic director of The K File, Oorvazi likes to introduce herself as an artist at the core of all the roles she plays which include being a filmmaker, a film educationalist, an acting coach, and a film critic. She believes each role significantly gives and takes from the others, creating a new dimension to her work which is challenging and at the same time very satisfying. She is the Director of her home media production company SBI Impresario Pvt. Ltd. incorporated by her father Sorab Irani in 1975. She has been involved with international critically acclaimed film projects and with her company projects - research, production, direction. 
  • As a film educationalist, she currently heads the subject of film at the ‘SVKM International School’, Mumbai and has been invited by various prestigious institutions to conduct workshops on film appreciation.
  • She introduced the “Michael Chekhov Acting Technique” to India with her dvd and also teaches the technique. She has been invited by Thespo at Prithvi, Kishore Namit Kapoor Acting Institute to conduct special workshops on the acting technique and ‘acting appreciation’.
  • She has been actively involved in the research and writing of the recent international textbook on Indian cinema "Aan to Lagaan". She has written articles for film magazines, journals and websites including Dear Cinema, Silhouette, Film Buff, Madaboutmoviez. Her company is also the literary agents for Farrukh Dhondy in India.
  • She has been the Project Art Consultant for an international art group show “Unity in Diversity” - Cymroza Gallery, Mumbai - 2007

Filmography:

“The K File” movie Exclusive Online Film Release May 2012. Directed by Oorvazi Irani, Story and Screenplay Farrukh Dhondy, Produced by Sorab Irani. www.thekfilemovie.com

"The Michael Chekhov Acting Technique” presented, directed and researched by Oorvazi Irani, Produced by SBI Impresario Pvt. Ltd. - 2011.  www.oorvazichekhovindia.com  

Conceived, Written, Directed and Co Produced – “Mamaiji” (Grandmother) - 2011 

Associate Director "Lord Ganesha – The Elephant Head God." 1997-98

Head of Research and Assistant Director for the travelogue "Ramayana:  A Journey." – Commissioned by Channel Four Television, London  1995 -97

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