False dawn

Sehar is one of those films that don’t get seen in spite of their being good. It is similar to the two Prakash Jha films – Apaharan and Gangaajal, but minus some of the histrionics. Further there are no big names involved, no parallel plot lines, and no stretched out romantic tracks (Mahima Chaudhry appears for about five minutes in the whole film). Its the story of cops, politicians, criminals and bureaucrats in 1990s’ UP – assassinations over railway contracts, gun running, kidnapping, tracking down the criminals and killing them. That’s it. Familiar story, but executed differently. The cast includes Arshad Warsi (his best role, I think), Sushant Singh, Pankaj Kapoor, Rajendra Gupta, Naved Aslam and plenty of good television actors of yore.

The film is directed by Kabeer Kaushik and its name comes from a stanza in Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poem Subh-e-Azadi (Freedom’s Dawn). This is a 30 second clip from the last track on the audio cd – “Faiz” – recited by Pankaj Kapoor. It goes-

Ye dagh dagh ujala, ye shabgazida sehar,
wo intezar tha jiska, ye wo sehar to nahin.

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  • Undercover Indian  On November 3, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    It is nice little movie , as you said differently executed. The character of Arshad Warsi was based on a real life policeman who was instumental in “cleaning up” the mess. He survived though, unlike character in the movie.

    Pankaj Kapoor was good , as he usually is, in his role of telecom expert and so was Warsi.

  • Aristotle The Geek  On November 4, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    There are some conversations in the film that I enjoyed. The one where Rajendra Gupta talks about a lassi (?) stall with a board saying something like – “janab zara muskuraea, kyonki aap Lucknow main hain”; or the one where Warsi looks at the rising sun and remembers his mother’s words about its effect on the tired body, but not the mind. Small scenes scattered around the film that tend to pull you in.

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