The K File – A Short Film Review

Ajmal Kasab’s trial has been a matter of great frustration to the people of India. It has been more than 3 years since his arrest but an end to the matter is still not in sight. Oorvazi Irani’s short film K-File attempts to give a vent to the simmering anger amongst the public. The film definitely succeeds in its intentions and ends up being a cathartic experience for its viewers.

K-File, though purposefully heavily borrowing from the real world, chooses to take the fictionalized route to reflect on reality. The story and screenplay by Farrukh Dhondy is of a Home Minister facing the dilemma of the case of a terrorist(Asab) under a long controversial trial, much like Kasab’s in the real world, and the solution he employs to put the whole matter to an end.

Oorvazi Irani has deftly handled the job of direction. She and Farrukh Dhondy are brave enough to explore sensitive topics like minority politics without any inhibitions.  The film is high on drama but not even once does Oorvazi let it go overboard. The performances that she has been able to extract from her actors, Tushar Ishwar as the Home Minister and Sanjay Nath as Asab, also go a long way in maintain the drama at a level that is very close to its boiling point but never crosses the mark. Sanjay Nath deserves special mention here for his exceptional performance as there is every chance of an actor hamming the role of a character which is a widely hated figure in public and thus reducing it to a caricature. Nath has also perfectly picked up the dialect and the tonal qualities you expect from a terrorist from Pakistan. Tushar Ishwar also makes the character of the Home Minister caught in a tricky situation very believable.

Martin Xavier’s cinematography also deserves a lot of praise. Oorvazi Irani who also doubles up as the art designer has shot the film at locations which feel very real. The prison cell is particularly notable. Also, Xavier’s use of light in the prison cell gives the whole atmosphere a grim and authentic look. Sorab Irani as the producer should be lauded for backing such a project. The production values right throughout the film is up to the mark.

The character of Asab feels slightly one-dimensional but there is nothing else you can fault with Dhondy’s script. The Home Minister is very smartly introduced by the screenplay with the use of dialogue. Finally, the fantastic twist in the story in the end certainly catches you unaware. Once the movie has sunk in after the end credits roll,with Ayan De’s effective background score, a smile is left on your face as you wonder whether the film has indeed found out a solution to the dilemma.

You can view the entire film below.

Making of The K File  is mentioned as a separate post on the link provided.



17 thoughts on “The K File – A Short Film Review

  1. I was rolfing during the whole movie.First of All it is Mumbai not Bombay, the director should have understood the difference between Jihadi and Terrorist which she use in the beginning credits.Why Pakistani Terrorist speak in Bollywood Hindi is out of my bound, not to talk about ilogical climax with loopholes such as home minister carrying Guns.The issue of vote banks have been used superficially ,and even if president decides on death sentence it is decided by Parliament , the President just reviews it.Actors reached a new level of Hamming.on one hand we have short like Bombay Snow,True Millionaire made on almost zero budget which is 100 times better than this, on which so much money is wasted. 

    • Wasn’t carrying the gun a ploy that the home minister used? The Asab character was talking in bollywood hindi? Really? I don’t think the actors were hamming at all. Your point on the Presidential pardon is correct. 

      I request you to watch the short again. Thanks for your honest feedback.

      • What is hamming and what isn’t is open to interpretation. Can ‘good’ acting or ‘good’ cinema ever be nailed down to one particular kind? Cinema/Acting can only be defined by the number of people who like/dislike it. And in the case of this film, it had some things going for it. The sound designer has done an efficient job while the production design and cinematography are commendable in most part. The story, direction and acting were nothing of special note.

        And btw, the Home Minister carrying a gun is a 12 year old ploy used much more efficiently in Shankar’s ‘Nayak’; i.e. the minister putting himself in danger part.
        Judging by the above reply, I have a feeling though that this above person is either part of the crew or a friend of someone involved in the project, just an honest feedback again 😛

      •  What Mohanlal does is acting, what zayed Khan does is Hamming.Since when did Home Ministers directly go and talk to terrorists, do not we have some half a dozen agencies to do that.Director blaiming a particular community for delay in judicial sentence is unfair and immature.

      • Hey man I feel you but remember that someone else might say what Daniel Day Lewis does is acting and what Mohanlal does is hamming; which is why I said that these things can only be defined as liked/disliked by many or some.

        I was never convinced by the script in the first place, written by a supposedly famous screenwriter Farrukh Dhondy. The HM’s conflict in not being able to hang Kasab is frankly speaking frivolous and short-sighted. I mean who the hell cares if a terrorist who is being hanged happens to be Muslim? That is not the least of the problems obstructing Kasab’s hanging.

    • @twitter-34195694:disqus : Dude the director, producer and writer are all Bawas and those people never bothered to learn that Bombay has become Mumbai.

      • Cesare i understand you may not have enjoyed the short film but lets not get personal here by saying unwanted things which borders on the religion…Please understand and keep the debate clean and healthy…

      • It was meant to be an observation about the cultural background and habits of the particular community; which I still stand by; not an insult to any religion as I feel the very concept of religion by itself is inane. But point noted. Glad to see that unlike other boards where people take offense at the drop of a hat, some realize that any conflict can be resolved by calmly talking… WHICH IS WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DISCUSSED IN THIS FILM in the first place.

      • Rightly Said Ajay. Cesare if you don’t like the film you are free to critique & debate it healthily. Let’s not get into religion and other things like caste. This is a forum for movie buffs to discuss & debate movies in a healthy manner. We don’t want to spoil it like the Rediff message board.

  2. Oorvazi you should have treated as either action or thriller … Ending surprises for a moment … shock treatment worked for a moment but later on when person gets over the shock part… it becomes illogical  … You should have covered all the loopholes in the script to make it believable. Tell me if you were HM, what would you think before handing gun to Asab ..what are the chances that he might kill you then and there only … after all he is madman, right? where is trying to escape? Pakistan???? … well that is possible only if he gets a plane … well cinematically that may be possible … the whole idea was to put all this possibility inside the script … and giving him right motivation not to kill HM, right motivation to escape, establish where asab was killed (ideally it would have been infront of media, otherwise killing asab would be easy, another fake encounter and nobody would believe ), The reason we are not hanging Kasab  is because everybody deserves a trial and the fucking trial is still on, that is today’s law’s morality. Thats why British gave bhagatsingh trial, and we gave Nathuram Godse a trial. Chance to put your point. Thats how mordern law works. There should trial and conviction. And if he challanges then govt expected to take the case to higher court. And that is what is happening  with kasab … and there nothing as communal disharmony … every Indian wants kasab punished!  Death by hanging is again rejected by mordern law except rarest of the rare cases … and it needs to proved in court of Law. and a fair trial needs an advocate when our political parties are not allowing any advocate to represent Kasab …  … hence this parties are also delaying the justice … a short film should have covered this points … just making some foolish statements about Muslims is as worst it can get! HM should have made more sound proof plan may be there was one bullet … which asab fired to make himself believe as well others … this all loopholes in the story make it fake … i am not asking you to make docu … there could be some missing link … but it should be obvious or it becomes obvious when whole things fall in the place and when there are major loopholes even slightest things look worse. Two genres that can be forgiving are action and thriller. apart from that acting is theatrical and non convincing … HM doesn look like HM doesnt talk like HM … it feels he is acting … so is asab … Oorvazi i hope i was constructive enough in criticism.

    Now Mr Rasik … let me ask why you reviewed this short … i think there lots better shorts than this … why this one? … are you planning to have series of reviews on short films? And this is just happens to be one that starts the series? If No, then why this short film only? And now there is possibility that you found the work astronomically gud and hence you put this post. In that case let me tell you that you are harming Oorvazi by making her feel next Spielberg, when there is no apparent reason. I hope you will take criticism sportingly … especially when you either influenced or your judgement gone wrong. And such kind of post also reduces the respect of your readers,
    Mr Admin, by publishing such post you are devaluing your site. If you want personally to look gud in others book at the cost of your sites reputation … then go ahead … there lots of work out there … especially short film that deserves to applauded and certainly before this one … Lets see how many short film reviews comes up on this site in next month … otherwise lets say that either the makers have influenced Mr Rasik and/or Rasik’s reputation for writing terrific posts have deceived you. in either case think again, 

    • What has publishing a post need to do with devaluing the site..I understand you may not have enjoyed the film which is always subjective and a personal choice but then it has nothing to do with a post..If the authors definitely want to review short films they are glad to come up with it and we are more than glad to publish it…

      For that matter if you want to review The K File, you can come up with a review of your choice and we will happily publish as it has nothing to do to look good in anybody’s book.

    • What has publishing a post need to do with devaluing the site..I
      understand you may not have enjoyed the film which is always subjective
      and a personal choice but then it has nothing to do with a post..If the
      authors definitely want to review short films they are glad to come up
      with it and we are more than glad to publish it…

      For that matter if you want to review The K File, you can come up
      with a review of your choice and we will happily publish as it has
      nothing to do to look good in anybody’s book.

      Makers influencing Rasik or any deciet does not come here…For that matter if we recommend films that does not mean we are influenced by anybody particular but as and how the authors feels…You can definitely have a healthy debate and express what you felt regarding the the film which I think you have did…

      • Of course nothing wrong in sharing the post.It is your prerogative. And that was my feedback. may be it was harsh but not personal. I also suggest you take the initiative and invite lots of short filmmakers to showcase their films on the site and may be have a special section for short films. Let them share their thoughts and let us all give them “the good the bad and the ugly” criticism …  in that way you have future/wannabe filmmakers sharing their works and people judging themselves what is “the good the bad and the weird”. 

      • I am more than happy to share those short films and if you do come across any such, please ask the makers to get in touch with me on my mail.

    • Agree with about 3/4th of your post i.e. the part that talks about the film. Yes, the idea of accidentally showing Asab the gun seems foolish because he was brainwashed into wreaking havoc in the country.
      It was evident from the Kasab hearings that he was neither remorseful for his actions nor asking for forgiveness/leniency, merely interested in making a joke out of the country and its legal system. Such a man would never let go of a chance to simply kill the Home Minister of the Country. I mean it’s the f*****g Home Minister! Imagine how much of a black mark that would be on the nation if the HM was killed by a terrorist within a maximum security prison. But as far as reviewing or showcasing the film on the website is concerned, come on! It’s his site after all and his intention too is just to show it to others and have a healthy discussion. And when it comes to the review, lemme tell you about Indian audiences. We are a country that laps up movies like Housefull 2, Bodyguard and Rowdy Rathore etc. as well as appreciates a Shanghai or a Shaitaan. So then it just boils down to a case of personal taste doesn’t it? Although I did have a feeling myself that the admin was a well-wisher of the film-maker going by the tone of the review. But then, what the hell! The film needs someone who likes it too or else the discussion board turns into a hate-fair.

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