- 1 hr 43 min
Unfreedom is a dramatic film that interweaves two stories about personal and political struggles in contemporary India. Directed by Raj Amit Kumar, the film explores themes of repression, resistance, sexuality, and violence through a dual narrative that alternates between a lesbian love story and a militant anti-terrorism operation.
The film opens with a graphic scene of a young woman named Leela (Preeti Gupta) being brutally beaten and raped by a group of men in a secluded area. Her father (Victor Banerjee), a politician and a devout Muslim, is outraged by the incident and demands justice, but finds himself facing opposition from both the police and the local religious leaders. Meanwhile, Leela falls in love with Sakhi (Bhavani Lee), a fearless and independent artist who defies social norms and reveals her queerness to her conservative family.
As Leela and Sakhi struggle to navigate their forbidden romance, their relationship becomes a target of a right-wing Hindu fundamentalist group that seeks to impose their vision of morality and purity on society. Led by a charismatic preacher (Adil Hussain), the group organizes violent protests and kidnaps Sakhi, accusing her of corrupting Indian culture and spreading Western decadence.
The film then shifts to the parallel story of a young man named Dev (Bhanu Uday), who is recruited by a secret anti-terrorist unit to infiltrate and eliminate an Islamic extremist group that plans to detonate a bomb in a crowded market. Dev's mission puts him in a dilemma as he realizes that the group's leader (Ankur Vikal) is not a stereotypical terrorist but a thoughtful intellectual who questions the legitimacy of the Indian state and the global order.
As Dev becomes immersed in the ideological debates and personal relationships of the group, he is also haunted by his past traumas and his conflicted identity as an Indian-American. The tensions between his loyalty to his job and his moral compass come to a head in a tense and violent climax that pits him against his former allies and himself.
With a keen eye for visual and emotional contrasts, director Raj Amit Kumar creates a vivid portrait of contemporary India that highlights both its diversity and its contradictions. The film uses bold and explicit imagery to depict the violence and sexuality that shape the characters' lives, and takes a critical stance on the religious and political forces that exert power over them.
At the same time, Unfreedom also offers moments of tenderness and humor that humanize the characters and their struggles. The film's sensitive and nuanced portrayal of lesbian desire and intimacy, for instance, challenges the dominant cultural norms that make such expressions invisible or taboo. The well-crafted performances of the cast, especially Preeti Gupta and Bhavani Lee, convey the complexity and depth of their characters' emotions and motivations.
Overall, Unfreedom is a thought-provoking and daring film that invites audiences to engage with the urgent and pressing issues of our times. Through its exploration of themes of freedom, identity, and resistance, the film raises important questions about the role of art, politics, and sexuality in shaping our individual and collective destinies.
Unfreedom is a 2015 romance movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 43 minutes. It has received poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.0 and a MetaScore of 24.