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Inspired by the events surrounding the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Ghandi, The Terrorist focuses on the making of a suicide bomber marching towards the end of her life.
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The film neither defends nor accuses the terrorism (whatever you may define it) and those who are involved in it. The director wisely avoids including any reference to political climate, and sets his forcus upon the girl who believes her cause, and for that purpose, could be ruthless to kill a man. She is chosen for the 'human bomb' soldier to assacinate one statesman, and when she knows that, she quite happily starts the preparatory course for the mission, saying the words of gratitude before the commander.
And Malli is sent to an old farmer's house under false identity, in order to wait for the order, but there she encounters the events that influence her way of thinking. For the reason that is gradually revealed in flashback sequences, her strong will starts to falter. In fact, Malli is given a chance to choose her life, which is to be suggested in the end.
Shot all with natural lighting, and except the leading actress Ayesha Dharkar, with all non-professional actors, the film shows the impressive contrast of darkness and light. Santosh Sivan, acclaimed photographer of India, gives his second feature as a director, and his skill for capturing the natural light is brilliantly shown here, with finely realized images of green, wet jungle.Read more ›
The movie is inspired by the assasination of Rajiv Gandhi by the LTTE (the strongest Sri Lankan Tamil separatist group). The star character is Malli, a 19 year old girl, who is part of a terrorist/resistance group. While the movie never goes into specifics, you as basically to assume that she is a Sri Lankan Tamil and is a member of the LTTE. She is selected to perform a suicide bombing and goes on a trek to the location where the VIP will be assasinated. Again, the VIP and the location is never specified, but you can assume she is targetting an important global politician and travels to Tamil Nadu.
I won't give away the rest of the movie. The director does a magnficent job humanizing Malli, and setting up the context for why someone would do something that we in the West could never envision.
After watching the movie, I was left with some key realizations to pipe back into today's headlines. I think you will too.
As for the DVD specifics, there are no real special features, just be glad you have subtitles. The sound is all over the map, so sometimes you can understand what people are saying, other times the dialogue is totally drowned out and Tamil speakers will have to use the subtitles. For those like me whose Tamil is not so good, you will find the dialogue pretty simple and minamalist. I was able to follow without the subtitles as long as I could hear the dialogue.
I found an interesting website recapping the Rajiv Gandhi assasination after I watched the movie which others might find useful as well: (...)
Eventually, she questions her intense and decidedly narrow focus as the film progresses, and she encounters people who live simple lives--i.e., with family and day-to-day concerns, who know much more than she does about living life for life itself, rather than living only for the purpose of dying at whatever time is appropriate for the eternal fight.
Life and death--a great theme for any film--is here handled so skillfully and with such insight that it is a truly gripping experience watching this movie.
Most recent customer reviews
I loved the movie The Terrorist. It is a non-Bollywood Indian film that doesnt altogether escape the somewhat cheesy nature of some of these movies, but it remains extremely... Read morePublished on June 7 2004 by dustin
First off let's go over the DVD itself. The movie is transferred well except for a few spots where the film is scratched (twice kind of heavily for a few seconds). Read morePublished on March 23 2004 by Jesse S. Walker
the terrorist is one of the best movies ever to come out of india. the movie is totally unlike the normal indian bollywood movie. Read morePublished on Jan. 26 2004 by madhu m
This movie is a fantastic look into what manipulation terosists groups put on their people to brain wash them to kill. Read morePublished on Feb. 23 2003 by Monique Bryant
The major attraction of this film for THE MAN WITH THE KINOAPPARAT is the sound design. Any serious sound guys out there, you need to read this book as a text book. Read morePublished on Oct. 3 2002 by poetix
This provides and interesting look into the world of rebels and those who would be suicide bombers. It helps us to understand the mindset of such people and possible reasons they... Read morePublished on July 10 2002
The film is sure darn nice to look at but it couldn't prevent all the introspection from grating on me after awhile. Read morePublished on Oct. 3 2001
The Terrorist is an unconventional film, providing a beautiful, quiet, almost meditative look into the mind and heart of a woman rebel about to commit a suicide terrorist act. Read morePublished on Aug. 22 2001