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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Terrorist
The Terrorist
Wellspring
List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Paul Navarro | posted March 21, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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Synopsis:
Nineteen-year-old guerrilla warrior, Malli (Ayesha Dharkar), spends much of her time, when she is not engaged in battle, thinking about the exploits of her family. Her brother and father fought and died for their cause and now Malli must live up to her good family name. She is thrilled that she is picked to go on a suicide mission to kill a high-ranking official. Now, Malli must take a trip through her country to the place where she is to meet the man who will teach her how to be a terrorist. Along the way she struggles with the loss of her one and only lover and meets good-hearted souls who make her question her interpretation of right and wrong.

Review:
Veteran cinematographer Santosh Sivan has made a truly enthralling debut film. The subject matter is poignant and not one relationship, scene or word is wasted in the film. Ayesha Dharkar does a superb job as portraying the young Malli torn apart by her duty and her heart. She is genuine in her role and at times very exciting to watch. Some of the secondary characters do only an adequate job but it is soon forgiven due to the fact that the story moves quickly and you never have time to dwell on less than stellar performances.

Santosh Sivan gives us incredibly stunning visuals to wrap our eyes around—the lush colors, the obscured foregrounds and backgrounds. He is a brilliant visionary. Unfortunately the sound does not live up to the visual stimulation of this peace. There is mostly ambient sound throughout with the occasional, unspectacular explosion. The film score was almost all done on synthesizer so 5:1 isn't going to improve the sound much.

If you're into independent films that really suck you into the plot, get this movie or at least rent it. It might not be something you watch every week but it will be something nice to come back to every now and then when you feel like you want to watch something other than the usual Hollywood schtick. You also might enjoy Sivan's cinematic eye over again. I can't say enough about his talent as a cinematographer.

The DVD:
There isn't many extras on the disk. You get your usual subtitles, credits, filmographies and a couple of trailers but that's about it. Fortunately the DVD does preserve the 16:9 aspect ratio and the picture quality preserves Sivan's brilliant pictures nicely.
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