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The Terrorist

Rating:No Rating
Genre:Drama
Release Date:January 14, 2000
Running time:95 minutes
Cast:Ayesha Dharkar, Vishnu Vardhan, Bhanu Prakash, K. Krishna, Sonu Sisupoal
Director:Santosh Sivan
Producer:A. Sriram Abhijeeth
Writer:Santosh Sivan, Vijay Deveshwar
Distributor:Phaedra Cinema

Description: When writing on a film from a country with a strong cinema culture, it is tempting to compare it with past masters or predict it will hearken a renaissance. However, The Terrorist is unique; respectful of India's cinematic icons, it then breaks both from sensationalism and sentimentalism. With the poeticism that marks Indian cinema, symbols which define the protagonists emotions - the sound of water, a tear, a touch, a flowering tree - acquire remarkable resonance as our hero is identified as a suicide bomber marching toward the end of her young life. Director Samosh Sivan, deeply affected by the killing of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, decided to focus on the formation of a suicide bomber. Portrayed by the astonishing young actress Ayesha Dharkar, Malli has spent much of her nineteen years in revolutionary training. A hardened killer, she interviews for (an amazing sequence) and wins the coveted bomber position. However, the path to the VIP's assassination allows her to contemplate her own emotions for the first time. Those she meets affect her in a new way; in meditation she reflects on a moment of true love; contemplating her future, she is caught within a psychological divide. The film is awash with sensuality. Sivan, also an award-winning cinematographer, mutes his color scheme to simulate a rich cyanotype. Often the only sound we hear is Malli's breath. And close-ups of her face, humid with the pain of emotional awakening, documented by the photographer capturing the look of modern martyrdom, remain with us long after the film's end.

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