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Movie Review: The Children of War

The Children of War is a film that portrays the 9 month long freedom struggle of East Pakistan before becoming Bangladesh in 1971. It illustrates the atrocities committed by the Pakistani army on reporters, rebels and local Bangladeshi people. The movie also features a rare interview of Indira Gandhi on why India was interfering in the war. Three parallel stories which later intertwine form the backbone of the film, each depicting the lakhs of people displaced, mutilated and killed and the number of women raped and impregnated by Pakistani soldiers.

Malik, the officer in-charge of the rape camps, played by Pawan Malhotra is a strong character and is played superbly by the actor. Raima Sen too has played the role of one of the victims very well. Farooque Shaikh’s last role was in this film, and he has done complete justice to his character. Bengali actress Tilotama Shome makes her debut in Hindi with this film and has played her role very powerfully.

The film is beautifully filmed, and has accurately depicted the emotional grief and devastation that accompanied the formation of modern Bangladesh. The rape scenes shown in the movie are aesthetically shot, making them heart-wrenching, as they ought to be, and not vulgar or pornographic, as they often are. The background music score is good. Debutant director Mritunjay Devratt does a commendable job; in fact, is impossible to believe that this war epic has been directed by a first-time filmmaker. It’s amazing to see a virgin artiste conceive and portray such a vivid portrait of the rape of a civilization, and for that, this film is definitely worth watching!

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