Khuda Kay Liye

Khuda Kay Liye

Cast:Shaan, Fawad Khan, Iman Ali, Alex Edwards, Naseeru
Music: Rohali Hyatt
Director: Shoaib Mansoor

Khuda Kay Liye comes to India after substantial applause and abuse.  When the film released in Pakistan last July, a fatwa was passed against it and the director Shoaib Mansoor was forced to take an extended vacation outside the country. 

But Pervez Musharraf endorsed it as did the Pakistani public who defied the fatwa and made the film the highest grossing Pakistani film ever. Clearly this isn’t an average blockbuster. Khuda Kay Liye is about two musician brothers. They come from an affluent, educated, progressive Muslim family. But suddenly their paths diverge. The younger one, seduced by the call of a radical cleric, becomes a hardliner and eventually forcibly marries his London-bred cousin so that she cannot defile her religion by marrying her English boyfriend. 

The older brother goes to Chicago to pursue a degree in music but is caught in the post 9-11 anti-Muslim backlash. He is arrested and tortured by US agencies for his alleged Al Qaida links until he becomes a vegetable. Mansoor, who also wrote the film, grapples with many issues here: the misinterpretation of Islam; the oppression of women in the name of religion; the radicalisation of Muslim youth and the tragedy of the progressive Muslim who is considered a failed Muslim at home because  he is too western but is castigated in Western countries merely because he is a Muslim. 

These are thorny, sensitive and mind-bendingly complex issues but incredibly enough, Mansoor has created an engaging, moving and deeply compassionate movie that addresses them.

The film has its share of flaws. Some scenes are amateurish and overtly simplistic.  Many questions are left conveniently unanswered. 

The younger brothers transformation is sudden and the parents seem oddly disconnected from their sons' lives.  There are also some lame digs at India.  But ignore these bumps.

Khuda Kay Liye works as an impassioned plea for tolerance and understanding.  Few films change the way you think about the world.  This is one of them.  Don't miss it.
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