Very seldom a movie releases in India that doesn’t serve the purpose of entertainment alone but is a whole new experience in itself, Raazi is that movie. It is that movie that would touch your soul and you’ll walk out of the theater with a complete different perspective towards life.
The movie, set in 1971 starring the ever-pretty Alia Bhatt, is the story of a 20 year old innocent Kashmiri girl who is given in marriage into a Pakistani army family. She becomes a spy for the Indian Intelligence Bureau to provide them with confidential information during the 1971 Indo-Pak war. This 20-year old who has no knowledge about being a spy agrees to do so as per her dying, patriotic father’s wish.
The movie is based on the fictional book “Calling Sehmat” by Harindar Sikka who narrates the tale of the Kashmiri girl, Sehmat who breaks her silence after decades, and was otherwise bound by secrecy (he fictionalized the book to protect her real identity). He tells the story of her one-month training before her marriage with the Pakistani officer Iqbal Syed, son of Major Mehboob Syed, and her mission where she finds out information about Pakistan’s plan to destroy the Indian navy, and her growing love for her husband and her undying efforts to keep her motive secret.
The film, beautifully directed by Meghna Gulzar and effortlessly acted out by Alia Bhatt, delivers the message of how civilians too fight an anonymous battle which would never be acknowledged. The music produced by the great trio of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy leaves you with nothing but goosebumps especially during the song “Ae Watan” sung by Sunidhi Chauhan and Arijit Singh. After watching the movie I was nothing but speechless.
In an interview the author Harinder Sikka speaks about how he came to know about Sehmat through the former’s son and personally met her to find out the immeasurable sacrifices Sehmat made quietly for her nation. He also shares the information that since Sehmat passed away last month, he will be revealing her identity and give her the credibility that she undoubtedly deserves.
This film has made me realize my problems, worries and tensions aren’t big enough as compared to the difficulties faced by Sehmat as depicted in Raazi. It is a privilege being born in a country where people like Sehmat and many other known and unknown patriotic people live and breathe their every breath with the motto:
“Watan keh aage kuch bhi nahi, khud bhi nahi”
Watch the trailer here: