Starring: Arif Zakaria, Puneet Sikka, Adil Hussain, Tom Alter, Shraddha Kaul, Anurag Arora, Narendra Jha, Govind Pandey
Music by: Uttam Singh, A.R. Rahman (Score Mentor)
Release Date: 13 April 2018
Running Time: 145 Minutes
Nanak Shah Fakir is a 2018 film on the life and teachings of the first Sikh guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, produced by Gurbani Media Pvt Ltd. The worldwide release has been set for 13 April 2018, but has been mired in controversies with protests from Sikhs asking for a ban on the film. Movie was banned by Punjab Government on April 10, 2018. The films violates basic teachings of Guru Nanak. Guru Nanak was against idol worship but in this film he is beings presented as an idol himself. Though pictures of Guru Nanak are not considered idols, the person in the movie is being considered one.
Nanak Shah Fakir Movie Review:
The movie chronicles the journey of Nanak, who was born to Hindu parents in a village called Talwandi in Punjab. While his elder sister Bibi Nanaki (Puneet Sikka) and local landlord Rai Bular (Adil Hussain) recognized Nanak’s divine qualities the moment he was born, his accountant father took longer to acknowledge his godly ways. Owing to his teachings that propagated equality and selflessness, Nanak was called ‘guru’ by his followers (Sikhs).
Very rarely do you come across Indian biopics that are made on an epic scale, with its heart in its right place. Nanak Shah Fakir is one of them. Even if you are remotely fascinated by Sikhism, you must watch this one for its substantial content, spellbinding locations, impressive production values, stunning cinematography, good performances, outstanding storytelling and a mesmerising background score.
Painstakingly made, the film has this unique ability to connect with the believers as well as the non-believers, and there lies its beauty. Interestingly, despite its subject, thanks to a balanced narrative, Nanak Shah Fakir doesn’t sound preachy or come across as a propaganda film. It manages to inspire, arouse compassion and strike a spiritual chord. Arif Zakaria deserves a special mention for his brilliant portrayal of Mardana, the first follower and longtime companion of Guru Nanak. He is also the narrator here.
However, while the film emerges as a clear winner in most departments, the length and shoddy makeup cannot be excused. The story is stretched way too much, tiring you to the extent that you feel like you have scaled the Himalayas yourself.
Note: Keeping the sensitivity of the subject, Guru Nanak has been portrayed through computer graphics. His face is not shown either.