The Terrorist


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Suicide bombers are not crazy. The question is, are they brainwashed? To throw away a life for politics seems an unacceptable sacrifice. What do these kids know? Are they exploited?

Santosh Sivan follows the girl (Ayesha Dharker) from the moment she is chosen from a group of resistance fighters to the day of the act itself. Her youth and beauty adds to the visual pleasures of a film that makes good use of natural habitat.

At first, she is proud. Having proved herself in the field as a fearless warrior, now she has been selected to carry out the assassination of the great enemy's leader. Her name will be remembered forever amongst the martyrs.

She is taken to another part of the country and taught to strap on the explosives under her clothes, with easy access to the detonator button. When the leader stops off in this little town on his election tour, three local girls will garland him with flowers. She will be one of them. And that is the moment.

She stays with a family in the guise of a student. She has time to think and doubt. Flashbacks tell stories of love and death. She discovers beyond the rhetoric of hate a new respect for the sanctity of life.

The film suffers from Dharker's lack of experience. Her performance is weak, when it should be strong.

Reviewed on: 31 May 2001
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The story of a young suicide bomber.
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Director: Santosh Sivan

Writer: Santosh Sivan, Ravi Deshpande, Vijay Deveshwar

Starring: Ayesha Dharker, Vishnu Vardhan, Bhana Prakash, Parmeshwaran K Krishna, Sonu Sisupal

Year: 1999

Runtime: 99 minutes

BBFC: 12 - Age Restricted

Country: India,


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