Yoodlee Films’ Hamid Directed by Aijaz Khan, the film stars Rasika Dugal, Talha Arshad Reshi, Vikas Kumar, Sumit Kaul, Bashir Lone, Mir Sarwar, Gurvir Singh, Ashraf Nagoo and others. Hamid is that once on a Friday film that makes you believe that there will always be good cinema and great stories to tell.

Hamid based in Kashmir is the story of Israt (Rasika Dugal), Talha (Hamid) and Abhay (Vikas Kumar). Having it’s India premier at MAMI 2018, the film has traveled to film festivals around the world and has been appreciated for Aijaz Khan’s direction and acting of the three leading cast members and won two awards at Rajasthan International Film Festival (RIFF) – Aijaz Khan as the best director and Rasika Dugal as the best actor.

A poignant reminder of what all the involved parties in India go through everyday of their lives, Hamid is a story of a Kashmiri muslim young malleable boy who’s father a Shikara boat maker goes missing one day, which changes his young loving mother (Dugal) into a quiet, perturbed and disconcerted person who is emotionally drained in search of her husband from pillar to post. Hamid misses his father and wants him back in their lives but his mother tells him that he is now with Allah. The eight year-old learns that 786 is God’s number and decides to try and reach out to God, by dialing his number after many unanswered attempts the number is answered by Abhay (Kumar) a CRPF officer who himself is disturbed by the demons of his own past during his posting in the region and is trying to overcome it and move on.

Director Aijaz Khan’s Hamid is one of the most reasonable attempt to link the pain, angst and the larger issues of the biggest human and political problem that the country faces even after 7 decades of India’s independence. Adapted by Ravinder Randhawa from Phone No 786, a play by Kashmiri writer Mohammad Amin Bhat, Aijaz directs with finesse in a near perfect and extremely impactful film that could be just a little shorter. They deliver a film that stays with you much much longer than its reel.

Rasika Dugal has outdone herself in this one. The Manto actor is the heart of the film and gets everything right. From her body language, authentic Kashmiri accent to her demeanour that makes you feel the pain of this half widow through and through. Rasika is such a solid actor that you become one with her and want to cheer her every decision. She plays what seemingly is a very challenging performance that has shifting emotions every single time she comes back on screen and makes it look supernaturally easy.

Vikas Kumar plays the disturbed soldier who carries the guilt of his past mistake who, by Hamid’s innocence and wishfulness finds an opportunity to find his own faith once again. His layered performance that of angst and calm is a picture perfect portrayal of the burden that the officers of the force carry while performing their duties.

Talha Arshad Reshi in his title role is the biggest draw for this film. It’s so pure and refreshing to see this unbelievably pro-kid perform among the likes of Rasika and Vikas in the indie presentation. You will immediately fall in the love with Reshi and his unimpeachable act. He brings in the much required humour in the film and neutralises every situation with his calm and effective performance. He is the films hero and Kashmir’s every hero who makes you believe in hope and logic.

It’s extremely hard to not be influenced by your own politics when writing and creating a film on Kashmir. However, the makers try and bring forth the best and the most accurate and authentic drama on film about what Kashmir has lost in the middle of all things right and wrong and to find a narrative that makes you re-imagine the juxtaposition of two images the world has of the citizens and forces in Kashmir and could there be ways to reach out to everyone and give peace a chance if only for the sake of our children.

The film is a must watch for it’s story, performances and direction and works in all fronts with a soulful local flavour in it’s music.

I am giving this unmissable film 4 stars.