- 1 hr 41 min
Earth is a 1998 Indian film directed by Deepa Mehta, starring Aamir Khan, Nandita Das, and Rahul Khanna in lead roles. It is a period drama film set in Lahore during the time when India was on the brink of independence from the British reign. The film focuses on the lives of the common people, primarily Hindus and Muslims, and how their lives are affected by the communal disharmony caused by the partition of India. The film is based on Bapsi Sidhwa's novel titled 'Cracking India' which is a semi-autobiographical account of the India-Pakistan partition. The story revolves around a young girl named Lenny (Maia Sethna), who is the daughter of a wealthy Parsi businessman, and her relationship with her parents' servant Ayah (Nandita Das). Lenny's innocence and ignorance help her mitigate the communal tensions with her childish charm. The film begins with Lenny introducing the various characters living in the vicinity. She introduces us to her father's close friend, Dil Nawaz (Aamir Khan), who owns a music shop and sings ghazals with her father. She also introduces her best friend, a young Muslim girl named Shanta (Sufiyan Singh), who lives in their neighborhood. Amidst all this, the country is torn apart by the communal disharmony slowly building up in the name of religion and politics. As we get to know the characters more, we see the different ways in which they are affected by the partition. Dil Nawaz, who is in love with a Hindu woman named Shireen (Nandita Das), faces a lot of backlash from his Muslim neighbours for supporting the Hindus. Shanta's family, who are devout Muslims find themselves becoming more and more conservative as the communal tensions increase. On the other hand, Lenny's father (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) seems to be more concerned about his business and maintaining his social status than the country's struggles. As the situation between the Hindus and Muslims worsens, the film takes a dark turn which results in horrific events. The trauma and the aftermath of the partition leave a permanent scar on the lives of people who went through it. The film's strengths lie in its realistic portrayal of the characters and the historical events they are embroiled in. The performances delivered by the actors, especially Nandita Das and Aamir Khan, are noteworthy. The haunting music of A.R Rahman not only adds to the mood of the film but also evokes a visceral reaction from the viewers. What makes Earth special is the way it shows how the partition impacts people from different backgrounds. Lenny, who is privileged and unaware of the chaos around her, learns about the harsher realities of life. This realization is mirrored in the fate of Ayah, who is no more than a servant to her employers despite the inseparable bond they share. This film shows how people from all walks of life were impacted by the partition and the devastating consequences it had on their lives. In conclusion, Earth is a beautifully crafted film that showcases the devastating effects of the India-Pakistan partition on ordinary people's lives. It is a haunting reminder that despite all the progress we have made, hatred and communal violence can still divide us as a society. It is a film that will emotionally impact you long after you have watched it.