Naseeruddin Shah calls 'Khuda Kay Liye' an important film

Actor believes 'courageous films' need to be made about religion

Entertainment Desk May 20, 2024

Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah, known to be vocal without holding back punches, recently sparked intrigue and contemplation as he expressed his fervent interest in exploring the intricate dynamics of religion through the medium of cinema. In a conversation with Brut India, the veteran actor shed light on his inclination towards crafting movies that fearlessly navigate the complex terrain of religious discourse.

During his presence at the esteemed Bay of Cannes Film Festival, Shah, when prompted to identify a contemporary issue he would choose to address through filmmaking, promptly singled out 'religion.' He stressed the imperative need for courageous narratives that confront the omnipresent influence of religion in contemporary society. “I think courageous films should be made about this factor which seems to be on all our minds," remarked Shah, underlining the palpable significance of exploring such themes on the cinematic canvas.

The celebrated actor, who starred in the 2007 Pakistani film, Khuda Kay Liye, also reflected on his past endeavours, such as the Shoaib Mansoor directorial. Shah, who was present at the event for the screening of his 1976 film Manthan, likened Khuda Kay Liye to the same, saying that it "was an important film, equally as important as Manthan."

The actor acknowledged the nascent efforts of certain filmmakers in tackling this contentious subject matter, acknowledging that while some attempts are underway, the journey towards producing unapologetic narratives remains arduous. “Some people are attempting to do that, and gradually their numbers may multiply but it’s still not easy to make a direct statement and one has to couch one’s message in a palatable form., Shah iterated, acknowledging the inherent challenges in articulating bold statements within the cinematic landscape.

Shah's impassioned remarks underscored the urgent need for narratives that confront the intricacies of religious ideologies with sincerity and courage. The comments become all the more imperative in India's politically charged environment that has, of late, impacted cinema in a way where Muslims and Pakistanis have become easy villains of choice on the big screen. His vision for cinema extends beyond mere entertainment, seeking to catalyse thought-provoking discussions and introspection on issues of profound societal relevance.

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