ZEE5’s Mee Raqsam Is Propelled By Good Intentions And Sincerity Despite Its Sketchy Storytelling

Director: Baba Azmi
Author: Safdar Mir, Husain Mir
Solid: Danish Husain, Aditi Subedi, Danish Husain
Cinematographer: Mohsin Khan Pathan
Editor: Pooraj Kapoor
Streaming on: ZEE5

Mee Raqsam means I dance. The movie is introduced by Shabana Azmi and directed by her brother, the acclaimed cinematographer Baba Azmi. Mee Raqsam is an ode to their father Kaifi Azmi.

Kaifi Saab, who handed away in 2002, was amongst India’s most famous Urdu poets and one among Hindi cinema’s most interesting lyricists. Waqt Ne Kiya Kya Haseen Sitam from Kaagaz Ke Phool, Ab Tumhare Hawaale Watan Saathiyon from Haqeeqat and Chalte Chalte from Pakeezah are solely a few of the iconic songs he wrote. In the event you lookup outdated interviews of Kaifi saab on YouTube or watch Saeed Akhtar Mirza’s Naseem, by which Kaifi saab performed a lead function, you possibly can see a profound knowledge and compassion on his face. He constantly wrote in opposition to non secular fundamentalism and was an ardent advocate of India’s composite tradition. Kaifi saab was an excellent artist who stood for concord and peace. As his character so fantastically stated in Naseem: Aasman neela ho, peela ho, koi farak nahi padta, muskurana bahut zaroori hai.

The identical humanism runs by way of Mee Raqsam. The movie has been completely shot in Kaifi saab’s village Mijwan in UP. The lead function of Mariam is performed by Aditi Subedi who additionally comes from Mijwan. Like Kaifi saab, Mariam is an artist.  She is obsessive about Bharatanatyam. The love for dance is a legacy of her late mom who was additionally a fan. After her mom passes away, Mariam finds solace within the mudras of the classical dance. Whilst she walks to highschool, her palms are invariably practising a chic dance motion. Her father Salim helps her ardour. However a Muslim woman studying a dance type, which is perceived as Hindu, disrupts Mijwan. Mariam’s household, the clergy, a Hindu arts patron – all stand collectively in fierce opposition.

The story, by Safdar Mir and Husain Mir, is dramatic however Baba units it up with out shrillness. There are not any grand confrontations or speeches. In reality, elements of the plot are simplistic and the occasions appear implausibly straightforward. Baba isn’t making an attempt for the gut-wrenching affect of a movie like Mulk. The textures of Mee Raqsam are naturalistic however there’s a fairy-tale ingredient to the best way all of it pans out.   

The low-key storytelling provides to the dignity of Mariam and Salim’s struggle. Salim, performed by Danish Husain, is the backbone of the movie. Salim is a humble tailor however his understanding of artwork and faith is much extra refined than that of the particular custodians of faith – like a cleric, performed by a properly menacing Naseeruddin Shah. In a key scene, Salim says: Hamara Islam itna kamzor nahi hai ki ek bacchi ke dance karne par uski toheen ho jayegi.

Salim is unfailingly courteous however he doesn’t give an inch. He pushes again in opposition to the powers that be with out aggression. Even when threatened, he stays well mannered. Danish portrays Salim with conviction and gravitas. Essentially the most shifting factor about Salim is that he has little thought of his personal braveness in taking this stand. He’s merely doing what is true. Aditi after all doesn’t have the polish of the veteran actor however her rawness and awkward moments really feel pure and endearing. The 2 generate a heat that feels real.

Good intentions propel Mee Raqsam however in locations, the storytelling will get sketchy. The characters, aside from Salim and Mariam, don’t have sufficient depth. They’re stereotypes, solely there to fulfil a story perform – like Rakesh Chaturvedi Om taking part in the Hindu businessman who helps the Bharatanatyam faculty in Mijwan. He’s so insistent on downsizing Mariam’s achievements that he refuses to even get her title proper. It comes off as foolish however by way of the character, the movie makes the necessary level that bigots on each side are equally harmful.

Fortunately, Mee Raqsam is infused with sincerity, which helps the movie tide over these delicate spots. Kala ka koi mazhab nahin hota, a personality says emphatically within the movie.  And that’s a fact we don’t hear typically sufficient.

You possibly can watch Mee Raqsam on ZEE5.

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