Gour Hari Dastaan: The Freedom File

Watch Gour Hari Dastaan: The Freedom File

"The Freedom File"
  • 2015
  • 1 hr 54 min
  • 7.3  (601)

Gour Hari Dastaan: The Freedom File is a thought-provoking Indian film based on the true story of Gour Hari Das, a freedom fighter who campaigned for over 30 years to be recognized as a participant in India's struggle for independence. Set in contemporary India, the movie traces the journey of Gour Hari Das, played by Vinay Pathak, as he navigates his way through a bureaucratic maze to acquire a certificate attesting to his participation in the struggle.

The film takes the audience back and forth in time, showcasing Gour Hari's youth and his determination to participate in the freedom struggle. With the help of his mentor, he becomes a part of the freedom movement, contributing in his own way to the cause. However, after India's independence, the government forgets about many of the lesser-known freedom fighters, and Gour Hari's pleas for recognition fall on deaf ears.

As the movie progresses, it becomes clear that seeking recognition is not a simple task. Gour Hari faces obstacles at every turn, including a lack of documentation and the apathy of officials who are impassive to his cause. The audience follows Gour Hari as he gathers evidence to prove his involvement, battling both a fantastical web of bureaucracy and the, at times, contrasting views of his family members.

The cast, including Konkona Sen Sharma as Gour Hari's wife, and Ranvir Shorey as a journalist who helps him with his quest, delivers powerful, nuanced performances. The movie's characters are relatable and well-developed, making the storyline all the more heart-rending. Gour Hari's son, for instance, desires a father he can be proud of, whereas the protagonist's wife wants him to give up his quest, which has taken over his life in a passionate rather than productive way.

The film's pacing, direction, and cinematography are all masterful. Director Ananth Narayan Mahadevan successfully creates an evocative atmosphere, transporting the audience through time and place. A poignant scene shows Gour Hari travelling on a train, reminiscing on the past, ruminating on the sacrifices he made, and what it means to fight for one's ideals. The shots of him huddled alone in his dimly lit studio listening to Bapu's speeches are also memorable.

The movie's soundtrack is a blend of traditional Indian music with some creative yet eclectic additions. Sometimes an upbeat, youthful tune jam-packed with percussion; at other times, a poignant piano composition underscores the narrative's emotional moments. The film's show-stopper, however, is the evergreen qawwali, "Allah Tero Naam," performed by Pandit Jasraj, which provides the film with an emotional high-point.

Overall, Gour Hari Dastaan: The Freedom File is a powerful movie that highlights the struggles that persist in India. It shows what it means to fight for what one believes in, even when it requires going against the tide of apathy, bureaucracy and indifference. While it is a film that is likely to be remembered for those who fought for India's independence, it is also a great reminder for the current generation of the challenges that communities still face.

The movie is not an easy watch, but it eventually brings soul-searching catharsis. It encourages the audience to contemplate whether the people that history forgets are the ones we should cherish most. The film's haunting final scenes and powerful message are evidence that it is a movie well worth seeing.

Gour Hari Dastaan: The Freedom File is a 2015 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 54 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.3.

Where to Watch Gour Hari Dastaan: The Freedom File
Gour Hari Dastaan: The Freedom File is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV and Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent Gour Hari Dastaan: The Freedom File for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 54 min
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (601)