ZEE5 Original ‘Kaafir’ Review: A poignant tale of hope and humanity that deserves our attention

ZEE5 is quickly establishing itself as a leader in terms of the most diverse OTT platform thanks to a wide array of original content in native Indian languages. The latest offering Kaafir, helmed by Sonam Nair, is a poignant series about a Pakistani woman, Kainaaz, imprisoned in India after she accidentally ends up in Kashmir. Originally hailing from a village in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, the woman is pregnant when she is found unconscious by the Indian authorities on the banks of River Poonch.

So her daughter, Seher, grows up in India even as her mother remains incarcerated in an Indian prison. Since she goes to the Indian School she learns to recite the Indian National Anthem but she also teaches her the National Anthem of Pakistan. Dia Mirza is brilliant in the role of a Pakistani woman who finally gets some assistance from a lawyer turned journalist, Vedant, looking for a humanist story. The character of the journalist is played by Mohit Raina who was recently seen in Uri alongside Vicky Kaushal. Kainaaz is in jail because the Indian authorities see her as militant. Will Vedant succeed in helping Kainaaz unite with her daughter? That forms the crux of the series.

The story of Kainaaz’s unfortunate encounter with fate is told as a sprawling saga that takes us through an entire gamut of emotions. Inspired by true events, Kaafir does a wonderful job of weaving together Kainaaz’s past and present. Her colourful backstory and her troubled present are brilliantly contrasted to create a humanistic tale that tugs at our heartstrings.

As a young Kainaaz, Dia Mirza is a sight to behold. She succeeds in bringing an almost celestial kind of beauty to her vulnerable character. Also, she is equally brilliant in the prison scenes as a hapless mother desperate to unite with her daughter. Impeccably measured and calculated, this has to be the finest performance of Dia Mirza’s career. Not only does she succeed in attaining a mastery over her dialogue delivery that’s perfectly suited to the character but she also ensures that the non-verbal aspects of her performance are also spot-on. The scenes between Kainaaz and Seher are pure gold. 

As for Mohit Raina, his reassuring presence is what makes Kaafir endlessly engaging. While we have seen Raina in a lot of macho roles his portrayal of Vedant exposes us to a different side of his acting spectrum. Right from the very first scene, we are hooked to his character. The scene in which Vedant goes and talks to a bunch of terrorists at the behest of the armed forces is enthralling, to say the least. The scenes that he shares with Dia Mirza are brilliant, to say the least. 

While talking about Kaafir it is important to highlight the maturity of writing on offer. Now, we have had a countless number of movies on the Kashmir crisis but Kaafir succeeds in offering something unique and refreshing. The credit goes to Bhavani Iyer who previously co-wrote the screenplay of Raazi with Meghna Gulzar. So what are you waiting for?

All the 8 episodes of Kaafir which premiered on June 15th, 2019 can be streamed on ZEE5.

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your valuable thoughts are highly appreciated!

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