Few minutes after I finished watching Mulk I realized why I love watching movies so much. It is a powerful medium to show a mirror to the society and ask some pertinent questions. Mulk covers a topic that is very close to my heart. I have always thought about it and to see a movie bring home the point in such an eloquent way is amazing.
How we are prejudiced against Muslims in our country. We presume that Muslims have been “allowed” to stay in our country. And since media always portrays the bearded Muslim as the stereotypical Terrorist we can't fathom a terrorist who is a Hindu. The movie describes this in more ways than one. Why is it that when Hindu goons destroy the local property they are called local hooligans and when the same is done by Muslims they are potential terrorists.
Why do we presume that Muslims have a personal vendetta against the nation? Why do we need them to prove their patriotism? Why do we call some popular Muslim public figures exception and not the norm? I love the research that went into the movie. All the prejudiced comments that blinded individuals have about Muslims have been countered.
A lot of moments in the movie impressed me in the way they were implemented. Here is the list:
A Muslim cop prejudiced against Muslims. He is left alone at the end of the movie. The judge gives his verdict and helps people evolve a little. Can't expect people to change overnight. Clearly signifying once we as a society evolve there will no place for prejudice against religion.
Letting the audience realize their prejudice. One of the pivotal scenes is never shown and is left at a moment when people can assume what might happen. This scene would have made people realize how prejudiced they are against Muslims.
The judge calls Tapsee as Mohammad Arti and then Arti Mohammad. He is confused. Like we tend to be when we see Muslims and Hindus work together. In reality and not for photo-op.
All's well that ends well right? Wrong. The present Hindu Muslim fight is not going to go away anytime soon. It will take time and love. In the end, Rishi Kapoor's character doesn't hug his Hindu neighbour. Okay, this might be me overthinking. But hey the point is legit.
The fault lies in everyone. No one religion is the cause. All of us are in it together. And it will take all of us to fight and eradicate it out of the system. In the judgement delivered at the end the essence of Mulk shines through.
Mulk shows what Bollywood can do if they have the heart in the right place. A lot of prejudiced people will see this as an attempt to whitewash the image of Muslims in the society. Unfortunately, that opinion won't change suddenly. A gradual understanding is needed. Mulk can only give the initial nudge.
We will do a whole lot better if we keep our prejudice at bay. Religion, Caste and similar Identities are man-made. They are used for political purposes by people who are hungry for power. As the judge says in the movie if you see a lot of Hindu Muslim fights being showcased in the media go home and check the calendar. The elections must be forthcoming.