• Sunday, June 23, 2024


‘Berlin’ review: Period espionage drama delivers lots of surprises

The unpredictable story is refreshingly different to most formula driven commercial Bollywood films


By: Asjad Nazir

THE early 1990s set Indian spy thriller had its European premiere at the recent London Indian Film Festival. A sign language expert is brought into interview a deaf man, who is accused of spying, under the watchful gaze of competing Indian security factions, ahead of the Russian president’s visit. All is not what it seems, as a larger conspiracy that could directly impact the high echelons of the Indian secret service begins to unravel.

The unpredictable story is refreshingly different to most formula driven commercial Bollywood films. There is no song, dance or unnecessary subplots as the attention focuses on two men from different backgrounds in an interrogation room, who might be getting manipulated by outside forces.

The well-made film has an interesting story, unexpected turns, and enough drama to keep you engaged until the very end. Great performances from the lead cast are the heartbeat of this low-budget movie that punches way above its weight.

Aparshakti Khurana arguably delivers a career best performance as the sign language expert caught in the crossfire of a conspiracy and shows quite comprehensively that there is a lot more to his talent than great comedy.

Ishwak Singh adds to a number of impressive turns in recent years as the deaf man and brings real heart to the role. Perhaps, the surprise revelation is Rahul Bose as the seemingly villainous spy chief. There are also great performances from a solid supporting cast. The atmospheric background score adds an extra layer to the story. The film has delighted audiences on the international film festival circuit because it offers something different and will be well worth finding when it releases. This is the type of Hindi cinema that should be supported.

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