A Pakistani couple desperate to flee to their country concoct a story to present before the American Embassy. Their little daughter becomes a part of the charade to help them get out of the daily struggles of survival. The director takes on a sensitive subject to elucidate the plight of thousands of families who have to leave their homes and escape to far off countries to ensure a safe and secure haven for themselves and their children. Tejasvi, Salim and their daughter Jasmin are faces from these 3.2 million refugees seeking asylum. The sound designing in the film is a storyteller in its own right as it creates awe and hope and intermittently plays with the both to carve into the audience’s anxiety.
What’s wow? The actors give the film the its much needed pathos. Shweta Basu Prasad is convincing as a tormented mother and wife who is constantly fearful of losing her family to violence. A national award winner at a very young age, Shweta gets her nuances in place with her outbursts affecting the audience, making them hope that they somehow make it past the border. The cinematographer Sarthak Johar is very witty as he does not wander unnecessarily into exterior shots but creates an ambience with select shots of a mosque, a beach wrapping the film mostly in interiors.
What’s blah? In his desperation to meet the visa officer, Salim bribes the lady sitting at the office reception. The note used to bribe is a ten rupee note. It is highly unlikely that anyone could be bribed with that amount in today’s day and age.
Parting shot: Films like ‘Visa’ should always be encouraged, not just because of the sensitivity of the subject but also because of the honest portrayal of emotions that is a constant for any family living in any part of the world.
Director: Manish Rahatkar
Cast : Shweta Basu Prasad, Ishaan A Khanna, Delissa Mehra
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