Amu (2005) - Movie Review
Kaju (Konkona Sensharma), a UCLA graduate is a young girl of Indian origin who is brought up in Los Angeles, USA. She returns to India to visit her maternal relatives in Delhi. Aware of the fact that she was adopted into a Bengali family at the age of three by Keya Roy (Brinda Karat) a social activist, Kaju aims to reunite with her roots. On her journey to discover the real India, Kaju runs into signs of hidden secrets related to her past and sets out to track down her identity.
This critically acclaimed film focuses on the impact of the 1984 riots that triggered as a result of the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, by her Sikh escorts. The film also throws light on the magnitude of political involvement in the massacre; leading to a complete urban-chaos where thousands of Sikhs were brutally killed and their families were ripped-off from their homes.
Amu by Shonali Bose is an intelligently executed film. The riot scenes are devastatingly effective and are sensibly portrayed - with absolutely no depiction of bloodshed. However, the interweaving of the flashback sequences with the main story-line could have been implemented better.
Alongside the portrayal of a heartrending tale, Amu has its share of lighter moments; be it the scene where the girls share their “hip” way of life with Granny, or the one where the little boy in the slums dances on a Bollywood number or Govind bhai’s recital of the famous Gabbar Singh dialogues.
Konkona’s exceptional performance makes up for minor dull moments here and there. Brinda Karat as a social activist and an adoptive mother looks dignified and beautiful; though not much of an actor, she manages to pull off her role well. Yashpal Sharma as Govind Bhai and Bharat Kapoor as the influential politician have also done a good job.
Originally made in English and dubbed in Hindi, this debut movie by Producer-Director Shonali was later adapted into a novel of the same name by Shonali herself.
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