There is violence in India. There is violence in Indian film.
too frequently...another person walks through the room while a movie is playing
when Indians are beating up on each other..
"is that the same movie?"..."no a different one..")
domestic violence, violence against women, inter-caste violence,
gang violence, police and army actions, communal violence,
Hindu, Muslim, Sikh.
This is not an action film, or a gratuitous display. It is a shaped dramatic exposition of being Muslim in India, political and policing affairs, and the evolution of the characters in this cauldron of conflict, It is difficult to get through.
This is fiction with a considerable amount of dramatic content, although one's shock at viewing it blunts the ability to respond to it. I had to watch the film twice and see the culmination of the riot scene to appreciate Kareena Kapoor's contribution to the film.
You will come to appreciate the grim repeat of Fardeen Khan's Gandhian father's experience in the course of events that Kareena is forced into.
The second aspect of the film is the story of JPLieutenant DEV Pratap Singh, Amitabh Bachchan, and his Hindu political supervisor Tejendra Khoshla, Om Puri. There is more violence, as though paper-mache political masochism on screen, calculated and convoluted, lacking a sense of contact with reality- but again, perhaps the haze of shock, disbelief.
Bachchan's part is a grim brother to his other-sided ego displayed in Hindustan Ki Kasam (1999 Hindi Film / Bollywood Movie / Indian Cinema DVD)" (see my review) from some years back, both supporting his identity with the audience as the UN-OFFICIAL SPOKESPERSON FOR INDIA.
Om Puri has never seen a more degraded character role in his career. What happened to his heroic Abu Mian in Ketan Mehta's "Mirch Masala" where he defends the abandoned wife against the evil subedar? (What happened to THOSE movietimes??)
This movie attempts to be about India today, not just violence. We don't have movies like this in America much. That's why I watch these Indian movies, the freedom still of the Indian movie business to portray and display...as such.
For a foil to Fardeen's "Gandhi is dead" political stance, see Anupam Kher in Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara (Hindi Film / Bollywood Movie / Indian Cinema DVD) ("I did not kill Gandhi.")