A feeling of foreboding and damnation builds up in the narration from the first frame itself. Here's a gloriously gutsy film exploring the underbelly of Mumbai through the lives of two slum kids who grow up in identical circumstances, but with somewhat disparate values.
First-time director Faruk Kabir displays remarkable skill in creating a pastiche of mammoth crime and little punishment. The pace leaves meagre space for grace. And yet "Allah Ke Banday" creates a world filled with acute aggression, repression and damnation with a reasonable amount of paciness to the edgy narrative.
The world that Faruk Kabir's characters inhabit is reminiscent of Danny Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire", Irrfan Kamal's underrated "Thanks, Maa", Mahesh Manjrekar's "City Of Gold" and Chandan Arora's "Striker". Deriving its lingering study of juvenile delinquency from these sources "Allah Ke Banday" moves forward and acquires a life of its own.
The gripping narrative takes us through the world of petty crime and underage lawlessness non-judgementally. Faruk Kabir's deeply-felt concern for children who dodder dangerously on the edge of society is never overdone. The director creates a world of uncertainties with unwavering confidence.
The nervous anxiety of the characters is rather aptly replicated in the film's rough and unvarnished look. Kabir's cameraman Vishal Sinha goes through the rugged merciless slums searching for only Allah-knows what. The actors wear their unwashed demeanour casually, so much so that at times we forget the existence of the camera. At the same time, there are uneven sections in the narrative that mar what could otherwise have been a standout exposition on the genesis of social outcasts.
Sharman Joshi and Faruk Kabir play the two driving forces of the plot with a deep understanding of their characters and the milieu. Both seem to have got right their characters' physicality and then proceed to explore their inner worlds. For a first-time actor and director, Faruk Kabir handles both his jobs with more than a reasonable amount of compelling confidence.
The others in the cast merge into the relentless milieu. As usual, the extraordinarily brilliant Naseeruddin Shah is under-used. Whenever he shows up on screen, an extra dimension is effortlessly added to the proceedings.
Notches above the run-of-the-mill entertainer is the genuine concern for juvenile delinquency. The lives on the streets never looked more dangerous and less glamorous. This time, crime is not glorified. Thank god for small mercies.
Allah Ke Bandey is another Friday release of this week which is directed by yet another debutant director Farouque Kabir, the man who assisted director Rajiv Rai in 2001 movie Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat. In this era of romance and comedy, the first time director has tried his hand on a very serious but burning topic.
The film deals with the story of two 12-year-old boys living in the slums. They aspire to become famous in the world of crime and get involved in looting people and delivering drugs for the Mafia. However, they end up being wrongly convicted for a murder case and this reach the Juvenile Reformatory. Here, life turns hell for the duo as the senior inmates torture them with all possible cruelty and they do it with the participation and permission of the Juvenile warden.
The free spirits of Vijay (played by Sharman Joshi) and Yakub (Faruque Kabir) are not to bow down in front of all these tortures and they grow up nursing a dream of becoming the ruler of the slums where they lived. Their criminal obsession also increases with time and they form a group of all teenage boys to fulfill their dream.
However, every evil has its end and so they would have but their salvation comes at the cost of a high price! You need to watch the movie to know the climax. It is not a usual entertaining flick but it strikes somewhere on the hard reality.