I had been wanting to watch this Pakistani movie for quite some time, and finally managed to see it. Let's get what I hated about it out of the way first and yes, there were some things that really stank in this movie.
The proud dialogue about "We Muslims built the Taj Mahal. We ruled India for a 1000 years. We ruled Spain for 800 years." Bah! STUPID bozos, don't you get it? That's why you'll remain such a pain and a joke when compared to India. Come to the realization that a nation founded on purely religious values is bound to be in a sorry condition as is yours. Look to India and learn what keeping everybody together inspite of your government's devious schemes will result in.
It reminded me of the other day when my blood boiled. After the 20:20 World Cup final, Pakistani cricket captain Shoaib Malik comes up to the mike and says, "We thank all the Muslims of the world for supporting us." **s, get a life. We've got a lot more Muslims than you, and we Indians are not defined by our religion despite what madcaps like the VHP and Bajranj Dal might say. The Taj is as much a Hindu's heritage as it is a Muslim's and we Indians are smart enough to realize that. We as a nation owe a whole lot of gratitude to each and every religion or race that has lived here, be it Hindus, Muslims, Christians or Buddhists and we are not retarded or blind enough to attribute it to just one group of people.
And the acting was easily the worst I have seen in a long, long time. Wow, it was really unbelievable how bad it was. The Mansoor character played by Shaan was in fact quite good especially when he spoke his dialogues in English, but apart from that, new standards were set in how poor acting can be. The saving grace was our very own Indian, the jewel of an actor Naseeruddin Shah in the briefest of roles as the moderate Islamic cleric, one who preaches the true version of Islam. He stole the show and made the other already bad acting almost unbearable.
Moving on to the redeeming factors of the movie. It showed a very real depiction of how a normal Muslim felt when he is targeted totally without justification and the pain that all of them must feel inside. All the Muslims I know personally are of this perfectly normal type and it's most disgraceful that they should've to bear the punishment for the behaviour of some fringe lunatics. The final clash of the interpretations of Islam, one version as preached by the totally devoid of sanity and extremist 'maulvi' and Naseeruddin's practical massacre of the other maulvi's baseless teachings was the clinching piece, a real fightback by the movie script. I loved that bit and that indeed wiped out all the criticisms that I was holding against this movie. I think the line of the movie, a line which holds the most importance in today's ignorant hate-filled world was "Deen mein daadi hai, daadi mein deen nahin!" (The religion requires a beard, but there is absolutely no religion contained in the beard). And no, I am no Pakistan basher and I actually have a few Pakistani pals who are just like any other nationality. Again I do not subscribe to the theory that my friends are the exceptions and everyone else that I haven't met is a slavering fundamentalist. There are a number of things that went wrong leading to the mess that Pakistan is in now and I understand that. I just wish and pray that it somehow gets it's act together really really fast and stop being such a constant irritant for India and the rest of the civilized world.