109 Min. | Drama – Fantasy | January 2015
IMDB Rating: 6.6
Director: Anup Singh
Staring: Irrfan Khan, Tillotama Shome, Rasika Dugal
Qissa: The Tale of a Lonely Ghost Review: What if you were the prisoner of desires? What if your construction was nothing but a quicksand of lies? All you gain is a house of cards. A ghost, so lonely by the defeat of his realism walks down the Punjab territory. Alas, the land gets bisected by a border, so violent! Such is the tale of Tillotama Shome’s Kanwar being morally stabbed behind the curtain of sexuality. Anup Singh’s Indian-German film ‘Qissa-The Tale of a Lonely Ghost’ is a cinematic sensation that goes down deep into your subconscious. In the hour of Partition, a Sikh resident of the now Pakistan seeks shelter in Punjab, India with his wife and three not so desired for daughters. Thus is what Irrfan Khan’s Umber Singh, wishing for a boy out of Mehar’s (Tisca Chopra) womb. When the fourth daughter is born, he persists on bringing her up as a son. Kanwar, in disguise of a son prepares herself as a boy. An adolescent love gets injected in the form of Neeli (Rasika Dugal) followed by a marriage. The beginning of a new relationship calls for the end of what was so far a sexual illusion.
Director Anup Singh does true justice in maintaining the patience of being brave as he successfully makes the non-chronological phantasm work in a meter of realism as well as surrealism. The second half of the story takes a sudden realistic turn as it is revealed in the posters of Qissa-The Tale of a Lonely Ghost. If realism is the false fall, surrealism gives the definite land in the plot. With the evergreen brilliance of Irrfan Khan, the acting has reached a summit of what one can hardly comment about. The soliloquy presented to the dead sands is like a perpetual cycle of fate that cries in the tone of, “Naa aadmi, naa aurat. Naa jeev, naa pret.” Tillotama Shome, famous for her serious portrayals has once again nourished the excellence of her virtue. With an innocent boldness and an intense artistry, her character is like a flame, the delusion of which stays on even after it gets extinguished. Tisca Chopra and Rasika Dugal has also contributed their magnificence in sculpting this master class.
A warm tone cinematography throughout Qissa-The Tale of a Lonely Ghost along with the immaculate sound mixing has successfully provided for balancing the tension with the ‘what happens next’ feeling. A well edited synchronization with the proper synthesis of music has given Qissa-The Tale of a Lonely Ghost a strong circumference. The audience leaves the theatres with some serious question marks haunting their grey scale. The well cooked delicacy of a sexually exposed Kanwar with the fog of Neeli’s existence is the best abstract that gets nailed into your brain. The posters came out with a Mira Nair quote terming the film as a “masterpiece.” ‘Qissa-The Tale of a Lonely Ghost’ is not a onetime watch. Watch it.