It was way back in 2012 after I had completed my engineering that I decided to take up a job as opposed to pursue masters abroad. I had realised the financial risk associated with it coupled with zero fascination for a new country. But there were several of my friends who had opted for it. Many of them are happily settled there but everyone may not be as lucky. And with that I have just finished watching the new movie The Illegal on Amazon Prime. Is it worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
The Illegal is the story of a young student from India who shifts abroad for a degree in filmmaking. Soon, he realises the hard realities of life which he has chosen. The story is a taut commentary on the social lives of immigrants who go abroad for greener pastures only to realise the rocky road ahead with slim chances of turning back. The story would be relatable to many! The screenplay is so brilliantly written that it maintains a grip on the proceedings right from the start with little to no respite with respect to its pace. And the writing is brutal and forces you to think of what if you are trapped in such a situation. It is possibly one of the worst nightmares to come true if it does! You are on this emotional roller coaster ride with the protagonist that you feel almost every emotion of his. And that finale will tear you to bits, such is the writing, ever so powerful where the writers are not afraid of showcasing the reality.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are the ones we use in our daily lives, nothing over the top. I felt the BGM blended well with the drama. Director Danish Renzu has done a phenomenal job here. I also feel the character buildup of the main protagonist Hassan was exceptional and a lot of credit goes to the way the direction was.
The performances are all top notch. Jully Lee and Danny Vasquez have their moments to shine in their cameos. The two veterans Adil Hussain and Neelima Azim have done a terrific job too. I was very impressed with Jay Ali as Zayen who played the arrogant restaurant owner. Iqbal Theba as Babaji was just so pleasant to watch and an endearing character. Hannah Masi as Jessica was cute and pleasing to the eye, she has done a fine job. Shweta Tripathi Sharma as Mahi is a firebrand and such a natural actor. She leaves a mark beautifully. But it is Suraj Sharma who has to do a lot of the heavy lifting as Hassan and he comes out with flying colours. Each of his emotions, each pulse of his character are felt by the audience whether it is the simmering tension or his breakdown or that glimmer of hope and later on hopelessness and surrender to fate, he is simply brilliant.
The Illegal is quietly poignant and one of the most relevant and heartfelt films that I have watched this year. Available on Amazon Prime and Highly Highly Recommended.