#GarmHawa #HindiBollywoodFilmClassicRemastered #JohnsonThomas #Rating: * * * *

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#GarmHawa(Hindi/Classic) Rating:* * * * Ain’t nothing like a classic to drive away those blues…this one’s a masterpiece. M.S.Sathyu’s take on the partition and it’s aftermath centered on a family that has to give up it’s security for a bifurcated nationhood..Stunning! #PVRDirectorsRare #PVRFilms #MSSathyu #GitaSiddharthKak #MoesArt

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Hindi Classic film Review
Johnson Thomas

Remastered Masterpiece

Film: Garm Hawa(Digitally  restored print)
Cast: Balraj Sahni ( Salim Mirza ); Gita Shauhat Kaifi ( Amina Mirza ); Jalal Agha ( Shamshad ); Dinanath Zutski ( Halim ); Badar Begum ( Salim's mother ); Abu Siwani ( Baqar Mirza ); Faroukh Shaikh ( Sikander Mizra ); Jamal Hashmi ( Kazim ).

Director: M S Sathyu


Rating: * * * *

Winner of the National Award for Best Film on Integration and Best Screenplay, 1974; Filmfare Award for Best Screenplay and Best Story Writer,1974, several International awards and cult classic status among cinema critics and lovers of artistic cinema, ‘Garm Hawa’ is one of a kind. More so because , other than a few stray efforts of indeterminate quality, there’s never been anything as powerful as this on the aftermath of partition. Even the performances in this film are legendary.  

Garam Hawa (Hot Winds) was the first feature from director M.S. (Mysore Shrivinas) Sathyu, a south Indian. The film was controversial from its inception, as it was the first film to deal with the human consequences resulting from the 1947 partition and did not have many takers at the inception stage. Sathyu had to secure the newly founded FFC’s financing for his film based on an unpublished story by Ismat Chughtai with screenplay by Kaifi Azmi and Shama Zaidi. Even during the shoot in Agra, the film was plagued by protests and Sathyu is said to have sent a second unit team with an unloaded camera to keep the hinderers at bay.  
Once finished, Garam Hawa was banned initially and then saw the light after protracted lobbying with the censor board.  The film is basically a testament to the struggle for identity and security endured by Muslims in North India who did not wish to move from their homes after the partition.

The complex narrative spells a powerful engagement through the pained eyes of Salim Mirza(unforgettable Balraj Sahni in his final film), a Muslim shoemaker and patriarch who does not want to relocate to Pakistan. Salim’s daughter Amina(Geeta Kak) is betrothed to Kazim(Jamal Hashmi) who goes across the border to Pakistan to find work. When he returns, he is arrested. Amina is heartbroken- even though she does have the attention of Shamshad(Jalal Agha) to fall back on. Her agony mirrors that of her father’s , who himself appears to have been caught between divisive forces and is unable to find financial succor for his livelihood options.

What lifts this telling enactment beyond the commonplace is the sheer power of lighting techniques employed and the evocative framing of each character amidst the agony of loss and insecurity. M.S. Sathyu’s narrative makes you feel every agonising moment through some stunningly intense sequences made masterly by excellent technique and economy of purpose.  Made in 1973, the film was all but lost to the public and it took almost 3 years and Rs 1 crore to make it possible for a public re-viewing. So don’t go wasting your hard earned money on trash this week. This one is the film to die for !


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