Contributor(s)/Artis: Om Puri/Tabbu/Kanwaljit/Kulbhushan Kharbanda
Publisher: Eagle Video
ISBN/UPC (if available): EDVD M 1919
Gulzar’s directorial venture, Maachis (Hindi for match sticks), may seem a rather intriguing and unusual name for a movie, but it is perfectly in consonance with the theme of the story. Maachis is the tale of wronged Punjabi youth who takes to arms and joins the league of terrorists to avenge the injustices heaped onto him by the corrupt political set up.
The movie seeks to portray how the embittered youth of the strife torn state are dormant, yet volatile, and could start a raging fire if provoked beyond their lively of endurance. Maachis is an attempt to flout some myths and look beyond the stereotyped image of terrorist. They are shown as a mixture of opposites – compassionate and caring at one time, insensitive and brutal at the other.
The film is set against the backdrop of the Bluestar Operation and the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, but interwoven with the plot of the spine chilling drama is a tender love story that hopes to reach its culmination some day.
Written and directed by Gulzar, Maachis is a poignant tale of youngsters pushed into militancy, by the high handed tactics of police and the machinations of politicians. The film is not in the familiar commercial format but tries to treat the subject sympathetically and explores the mindset of youths. Newcomers like Chandrachur singh, Raj Zuutshi, Jasjit Shergill, Ravi Gosain star along with veterans like Om Puri, Kanwaljeet, Kulbushan Karbanda besides Tabu who provides the female interest, but thank you, no running around the trees. The film bears the Gulzar hallmark of simplicity as well as sensitive handling.