Film Review: ‘Qaidi Band’ is Good Intention, Bad Execution
Imagine being an undertrial waiting for your next hearing in court while having already spent more time behind bars than for the period they would have actually had to serve if convicted. With the lumbering pace of our criminal justice system the judiciary and establishment themselves become the biggest violators of human rights. Habib Faisal's latest Qaidi Band tries to give us a sensitive portrayal of the predicament of undertrials incarcerated in jails.
An unlikely musical band is formed inside the high prison walls, first as a compulsion and it soon becomes an anthem for aazadi and self expression. Sanju, Bindu, Tatyana, Musky, Ogu, Rufi and Sange bond not just over music but also their stories of shared suffering and wrongful detention.
Aadar Jain makes his debut along with Anya Singh and while both rise up to the occasion, it is the latter’s earnestness that totally wins us over. Life inside the prison is not easy – from verbal and physical abuse and inhuman living conditions to the slender hope of ever getting prompt and effective justice. Desperate to break free, the members find themselves pushed to the wall and devise a plan for their release.
Qaidi Band might be well intentioned but for most parts remains on the surface. While trying to explore the discrimination and horrible treatment that many undertrials face, the film rarely delves deep and so we remain just spectators rather than being fully invested in the life of these youngsters.
The music manages to keep the momentum going but post interval the narrative slips, becoming preachy and dramatic.
It definitely had an interesting premise but one that is let down by bad execution.
2 quints out of 5
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