Ramchand Pakistani (2008)
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Critic Reviews for Ramchand Pakistani
Though politically groundbreaking, Jabbar can't seem to escape her roots as a director of TV soap operas.
Audience Reviews for Ramchand Pakistani
Pakistani Hindus end up in hot water in India *** This review may contain spoilers *** One of the more unusual films at the Tribeca Film Festival. It's a Pakistani film but it's about a father and 8 year old child, Hindus of an untouchable caste, who wander across the border and are arrested by Indian soldiers. The father and the child end up being imprisoned for five years in India; meanwhile, the child's mother ends up working as an indentured servant but never gives up hope that her husband and child will return. At first, the Indian soldiers appear quite cruel and assume that the father and child are terrorists. The father ends up being tortured but eventually the two are sent to a prison camp for detainees where they receive considerably better treatment. The best thing about Ramchand Pakistani are the talented kids who play the 8 year old child (and later the older 13 year old). The child is rambunctious and comes to be loved by the detainees at the jail. The father keeps getting in trouble when he fights other detainees who he believes are trying to take advantage of his son. Some of the strongest scenes in the film occur between an Indian soldier, a woman who is appointed as the child's matron/teacher. In the beginning, she has contempt for Ramchand (the child) because he's from an untouchable caste; but eventually the child wins her over as he is a charming rake. The film gets a little bogged down when we cut to the scenes with the mother who spends three years paying off her husband's debt to a landlord on a farm. Some of the scenes show her solitary longing for her lost child and husband and those get a little repetitious. There's also a bit of a subplot with the wife becoming attracted to another man but that also is a bit slow-moving. Many of the detainees in the prison camp end up to be lovable losers and are drawn mainly as comic relief. I'm not sure that those characters represent real portraits of prison camp inmates. The film ends on a happy note when Ramchand is paroled and returns to his village and reunites with his mother. We learn later that the husband is released too. This is a colorful and moving film which shows a side of the world which most westerners are not familiar with. It also promotes Pakistani-Indian cooperation which is to be commended.
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