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A truly independent film of integrity and offhand grace, Zero Bridge tells the deeply affecting tale of a student and small-time criminal in Kashmir who develops a crush on an older, college educated woman. Dilawar (Mohamad Imran Tapa) is a rebellious seventeen-year-old Kashmiri boy who lives on the outskirts of Srinagar city with his strict uncle. Desperate to leave town, he looks to raise money any way he can, from doing his classmates’ homework to picking pockets in the city’s markets. While on an errand, he meets Bani (Taniya Khan), a bright, beautiful woman who had recently finished her studies in America. As their friendship grows, Dilawar is desperate to hide his crimes, as well as his growing affection for her. Once the truth comes out, it causes havoc in their relationship, and threatens both of their futures. Tariq Tapa’s first feature is a small movie with a big heart, investigating issues of class and the mysteries of love with an equal measure of craft and compassion.
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My minor criticisms are in portrayals that seemed a little too unlikely such as a Kashmir woman working as a clerk, yet has a US educated physics background.
The other area that seemed lacking was a greater, more in depth, understanding of our characters, the city, the region, the nature of the religious discord, the political entanglements from Pakistan, India and China in that region. But perhaps I'm asking too much for a very budget restricted (although you couldn't tell) production.
Besides the acting the script was engaging with it's mounting conflict, uncertainty, tension and resolution.