Often a film entertains its audience, narrates a story, engages us in its manoeuvres. Rarely does it have a soul that sits in the midst of many but with an identity fierce enough to take your breath away. That bloody film is Ram Madhvani’s This Bloody Line. The Radcliffe Line is the geopolitical border that divides India and Pakistan. It came into existence on August 17, in the year 1947 following the partition. The architect of the Radcliffe Line was Sir Cyril Radcliffe. This film takes us to Lawyer Radcliffe’s living room where he explains to his wife the circumstances under which he had to do the dirty job.
What’s wow? The concept of the film is its real hero and we only have filmmaker Ram Madhvani to give credit for it. After film after film on partition in various formats and languages this came as a welcome change. It went into a crack in the line which we usually neither see nor talk about. This film has all the right ingredients in its performances, clarity of script and a lucid editing which appears to be the best way to treat the subject. Mr Radcliffe though almost blinded by his cataract is still sharp as a wiz as he detects immediately that his wife has skipped a line while reading out the disturbing poem written about him.
The dialogues are impeccable and effortlessly mingle with the screenplay which is again uncluttered as the film rounds off. This Bloody Line explores the grey in the black and the specks and blotches in the leaders who were the frontrunners in the Partition of India.
What’s blah: I’m not capable of critiquing a film which has the grit of This Bloody Line because I think this is the best investment of my day. And it will be a pity if you cannot make nine minutes forty-two seconds worth your time for what is worth much more.
Parting shot: Partition is our sensitive area. It always brings out a whirlwind of emotions while watching reading or even conversing. Making a film on a subject so vast in a simple set up successfully filling up the audience’s ration and passion to the brim is exceptional film-making. This is a must watch!
Cast: Martin Bishop, Leda Hodgson
Director: Ram Madhvani
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