Shringar Films, UTV Spotboy and Satellite Pictures’ Filmistaan is the story of a Bollywood buff and aspiring actor, Sunny Arora (Sharib Hashmi), who is mistakenly kidnapped from the India-Pakistan border area by a Pakistani terrorist and held captive in the neighbouring country by the terrorists. With no better place to keep Sunny, the terrorists lock him up in a house in Pakistan. The house belongs to Aftab(Inaamulhaq). He befriends Aftab who deals in pirated DVDs of Bollywood films.
Sunny tries to escape from the captivity of the terrorists but the two goons guarding him, Mahmood (Kumud Mishra) and Jawaad (Gopal Datt), bring him back. Aftab, who lives in the house with his old father (Waseem Khan) and little brother, Mehtaab (master Tushar Jha), soon realises that Sunny is being held captive for no fault of his and he promises to ensure Sunny’s safe passage to India. In fact, Sunny and Aftab actually set out for the border so that Sunny can cross over to India. Do Sunny and Aftab succeed in their mission? Or do the terrorists thwart their attempt?
Nittin Kakkar’s story-line is thin and his screenplay also is not very weighty. To show the terrorists considerate enough to not kill Sunny while he is trying to escape doesn’t quite go down well with the audience because the terrorists can’t be men with hearts of gold. Moreover, there is no apparent gain to the Pakistani terrorists in keeping Sunny alive as he is, in any case, wrongly kidnapped. Of course, the terrorists are trying to use Sunny for their ulterior motive but since Sunny is quite a nobody in the overall scheme of things, it doesn’t really make sense for them to assume that keeping Sunny alive would be more beneficial for them (terrorists) than killing him, especially because he has been caught trying to escape. Again, it is not clear why Aftab would risk not just his life but also the lives of his aged father and little brother by helping Sunny escape from Pakistan. Aftab is not shown to even give a thought to what the terrorists would do to his father and brother when they learn that Sunny’s escape was aided by him (Aftab)! Besides, Aftab and Sunny don’t even develop such a strong bond of friendship that the former would risk his life (and the lives of his family members) to save the latter. In other words, the screenplay is half-baked. Of course, there are some scenes which evoke laughter and a couple of others which touch a chord in the audience’s hearts but the unanswered questions mar their impact. Dialogues, written by Sharib Hashmi, are natural and very funny in the light scenes.
Sharib Hashmi doesn’t have the looks of a hero but he plays Sunny ably. He especially impresses the viewers a great deal with his take-off on Bollywood stars. Inaamulhaq is natural in the role of Aftab and leaves a mark. Kumud Mishra (as Mahmood) is alright. Gopal Datt (as Jawaad) is effective. Waseem Khan (as Aftab’s father) and master Tushar Jha (as Aftab’s younger brother) are okay. Sanjay Mehta has his moments as the terrorist leader. Habib Azmi leaves a mark as the hakim. Ravi Bhushan (as the man who kidnaps Sunny), Sangik Chakrabarty (as the Pakistani soldier addicted to watching porn), Kavita Thapliyal (as the executive producer on the sets, who takes Sunny to Jaipur), Puneet Nijahwan (as the friend on the motorbike) and Neela Gokhale (as the actress playing the mother) lend able support. Manoj Bakshi leaves a mark as the police officer in the desert border area.
Nittin Kakkar’s direction, like his story and screenplay, are very class-appealing. While a thin section of the audience will like the drama and the narrative style, the large chunk of audience will not approve of it as it does not have the usual ingredients of a commercial entertainer. What’s more, the film also does not boast of a good-looking and young hero, a heroine etc. Arijit Datta’s music is okay. Ravinder Randhawa’s lyrics are average. Background music (Arijit Datta) is alright. Subranshu Das’ cinematography is quite nice. Firoz Boss’ action scenes are more functional than anything else. Sachindra Vats’ editing is good.
On the whole, Filmistaan may win accolades from the critics and a thin section of the audience in the big cities but that’s about all. Save for a few multiplexes in the major cities, it can’t hope to score at all. Even if collections pick up, that will happen in a handful of cities only.