Critics Corner review

Review: 'Lines' has Hina Khan giving her career-best performance

Lines is the story of Naziya (Hina Khan), a simple girl living in the village of Poonch in Kashmir and while her life maybe that of any simple girl otherwise, the circumstances she and her family face are devastating.

2021-07-28T23:00:00Z
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With so much to choose from when it comes to content on an array of OTT platforms at display, it can certainly get difficult to lose out on content that probably needs more attention than others. In an attempt to have that highlighted Voot Select presents its Film Festival featuring hand-picked films with fine actors and one of them is the short film 'Lines' starring Hina Khan (also co-producer) in the titular role.

The Plot

Lines is the story of Naziya (Hina Khan), a simple girl living in the village of Poonch in Kashmir and while her life maybe that of any simple girl otherwise, the circumstances she and her family face are devastating. As India and Pakistan fight a war and several families are divided, Naziya and her family have to constantly live in the fear of having shootouts happening around their home. Somehow, managing to tackle all this, one instance changes Naziya's life forever - but is it for the better or worse?


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The Good

Lines presents an intriguing story and while the saga of India-Pakistan war has been done and dusted too often, this short film takes a novel approach in telling the tale from the perspective of a girl and her family. What works best for Lines is the authenticity that it never deviates from. The actors in the film manage to pull off great Urdu with the required diction making you believe that you are in that world with them. The cinematography of the film is splendid too. Be it the long shots of icy terrain or the calmness of a village with not much residents left - it is captured beautifully by Laxmi Chauhan.

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The Performances

In the end though it is all about the actors in the frame that the story relies on. It was a delight to see veteran actor Farida Jalal on the screen after such a long time and while her character is rather one-note, she makes sure to give her best which you would expect from her. Zahid Qureshi as Bilal is the best male actor in the film where he gets to perform several shades from comedy to sorrow and others. His on-screen sibling bond with Hina Khan's character is adorable.

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But the film rests on Hina Khan's shoulders and she does a splendid job with the same. While Khan has done several projects over the years post her TV innings, this has to be her best so far. As Naziya, she embodies the perfect blend of innocence and longing that is needed from her. Khan is amazing in almost every scene of the film and there is barely and frame that doesn't have her in the 78 minute runtime. She has given her career-best performance and hopefully, this opens up other opportunities for the actor.

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The Not-So-Good

What Lines falters with - is a couple of things. One is the lack of budget which led to convenient mood changes in the film. The tension between India and Pakistan which forms the base of the story is never really enunciated enough to make you feel entirely for the characters suffering the consequences. Another factor has to be the use of some jingoistic dialogues which seem to be the staple of any India-Pakistan war film.

The Verdict

But these limitations do not take away the overall impact of Lines. The film, inspite being a short film manages to travel an entire journey and the open-ended climax is the perfect icing on the cake. The film is now available to watch on Voot Select.

Rating ***1/2 (3.5/5)

Trivia: Khan's partner in real-life Rocky Jaiswal also has an acting cameo in the film.


Farida Jalal Hina Khan Voot 


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