By: Muneeb Arshid
31st October is the Hindi language portrayal of the events of the Sikh genocide of 1984 that occurred after the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Played at the 2015 Vancouver International Film Festival, the movie follows the lives of a Sikh family who was caught up in the ever deteriorating situation in their neighbourhood in Delhi.
The first thing that you will notice is the flimsiness of the plot and quite frankly the acting as well. The acting is done in a way that the actors are trying to “act the hell out of it”. So all you notice is the actors very cheery while they speak (as if they’re on camera for the first time) for the first half of the film, and then so forcefully emotional to a point where it is cringe worthy to watch. It’s not to say there isn’t a well-known actor in the movie, as Soha Ali Khan (Dil Maange More) plays the mother but that absolutely does not redeem the film.
There is an unbelievable amount of indulgence (close to Tarantino-esque) with the camera continually panning over the dead bodies in the houses and streets and lingering on them for far longer than they should have.
Now, the only thing that can be said about the plot is the crazed propaganda behind the movie, which if you don’t notice it during the movie; you’ll surely know by the time the helpful footnotes at the end of the movie play.
There is a movie to be made about the 1984 genocide as it’s a very important subject for the people of Indian and those abroad, and honestly for the rest of the world. But this movie is definitely not that movie.
I will give it a generous grade of a D