Qissa | Movie Review 20 Feb 2015   351



Cast: Irrfan, Tisca Chopra, Tillotama Shome, Rasika Dugal
Direction: Anup Singh
Genre: Drama
Duration: 1 hour 50 minutes

Critics Review

Times of India (TOI):

The film begins in Pakistani side of Punjab before Partition. Sepia tones and a melancholy mood effectively capture the anguish of uprooted Sikh families crossing the border and arriving in India. Like the rest of his tribe, Umber Singh (Irrfan) leaves the ghosts of his past behind and starts to rebuild his life and home. While Umber is struggling to find a sense of belonging in the new land, his wife Mehar (Tisca Chopra), who has three daughters, is worried she will deliver a fourth girl.
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‘Unique’ and ‘distinctive’ are two words that repeatedly spring to mind as the contemplative, splendidly well crafted Qissa unfolds on the screen. It touches upon a clutch of vital themes skillfully dovetailed into its Partition-era drama about a displaced Sikh family caught in a destructive spiral. Qissa, with Punjabi dialogue and English subtitles, is writer-director Anup Singh’s second film. In the manner of his first – The Name of a River, a memorable tribute to Ritwik Ghatak – Qissa is unlike anything that we have seen, or are likely to see, in years.
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Director Anup Singh post his debut ‘The Name of a River’ (2002) again sets it during the India – Pakistan partition with his co -writer Madhuja Mukherjee to tell a evolving tale of gender fusion. Umber Singh (Irrfan Khan) victim of the partition is an inhabitant of Punjab in Pakistan – forced to vacant his birth place for the new Pakistan, Umber comes to Punjab in India and starts a new life with wife Mehar (Tisca Chopra) and his three daughters.
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Indian Express:

Qissa can also be called ‘kahani’, and both mean the same, story. But the equivalence is not exact: a ‘qissa’ has the feel of a yarn, a rambling tale told, perhaps by the fireside, with threads loose enough to twine and separate, whenever the storyteller wishes to pick it up again. Some of that feel comes through in Anup Singh’s powerful, evocative film that calls itself, generically, ‘Qissa’, and tells a very specific story about a man whose desire to have a son drives him into a place of no return.
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