Afwaah: Riveting drama which feels so real and is so relevant!

Watching ‘Afwaah’ is not an easy task. You are constantly and painfully reminded of the reality and amid the ‘virtual’ reality we have been living in the past few years. But watch you must. As an individual and as a society, it makes us realize how low we have fallen, how gullible we can be amid a flurry of information bombarded upon us through social media and how violent, intolerant and banal we have become.
As a director, Sudhir Mishra has of course won many accolades, however, he never appealed to the popular psyche and hence never gave a box-office hit. But he has made a place for himself by constantly making films which have meaning and not just mindless entertainment. His art has evolved through years, so has his story telling.

‘Afwaah’ should be appreciated for its story-telling. The various plots and sub plots are tied so neatly together that they keep you hooked all through. The plot is simple but its repercussions are horrendous and keep the audiences breathless during a chase for survival by the protagonists.
In brief, the story is like this- A girl from a politically influential family runs away from her fiancé who has political ambitions. A stranger who is a respected advertising professional from another religion helps her on her way. And all hell breaks loose once the entire episode is projected as ‘love jihad’ on social media.
The climax of the film is beautifully picturized amid a dramatic performance, indicating how the world of art and intellect render impotent in the face of a crisis which requires moral courage to stand up and fight untruths, blatant lies.
Another praise worthy element of the film is that it puts a lot of trust and hope on its women characters. The low caste police officer exploited by the upper caste male boss finally avenges herself cleverly; the girl running away from her conniving selfish fiancé, makes him fall in his own trap and rises up to become a leader herself. The portrayal is, well, positive and hopeful but ironically. women are in fact mostly the ones who propagate their own slavery and are torch bearers of blind faith in a country replete with regressive mindset.
The one thing which keeps hitting you like an off-tune sound in a well-played musical is the abundant use of the ‘F’ word. At times, it feels as if the writer himself is at a loss of words and so uses ‘F’.
Of late the dialogue writers are using a language which is either used by upper class or by arrogant rash youth- which is not really the language of the masses. As it is, our Hindi films are now quite generous with the use of ‘Angrezi’, which is rather unfortunate. Hindi films at one point of time were potent tools of keeping our language alive and flourishing. Now, it seems we use a sprinkle of Hindi in a dish largely made up of English.
However, the use of the cuss word was still not so frequent. The film sadly has ‘F’ where it could have some meaningful dialogues.
Nevertheless, ‘Afwaah’ should be watched to understand how truth and facts are distorted on social media to influence, provoke and manipulate masses. So, next time you see something disturbing on social media, wait. Ask questions, don’t believe, find out facts and then respond (not react).


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