Surkhaab: Movie Review – A captivating film symbolizing illegal immigration

Surkhaab is an Indo-Canadian film directed by Sanjay Talreja, focusing on globalization, immigration and survival. The film has won Best Foreign Language Feature at the London International Film Festival,  along with a Best Actress award for Barkha Madan at the Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival in 2014. Produced by Vivek Kumar, this gritty tale focuses on a woman, Jeet Kaur (Barkha Madan) who takes on a patriarchal world to make ends meet.

Jeet is a state level Judo champion and is eve-teased by the health minister Bhullar’s son, after which she assaults him. His henchmen come after her, and in a bid to escape, she contacts the local agent Balbir for a fake passport to Canada. Jeet faces difficulty in collecting the money, and also from Balbir’s nephew, Kuldeep (Sumit Suri). After reaching Canada, she is kept in a warehouse, accompanied by three others. The police arrives, and Jeet barely escapes,following which she calls up her brother Pargat (Nishant Bahl), who works in a local restaurant.

The first half has Madan at her best, swaying between a loving sister and a headstrong woman. The screenplay is crisp, and takes the story forward. Naresh Gosain as Balbir is convincing as a agent, often oblivious to events around him. A major let down of the film is the second half, with the acting not up to the mark and a poor screenplay. The dialogues look forced in the second half, and the story centers around Jeet saving her kidnapped brother.

Why You Should Watch this film ?

Surkhaab is imaginative and dark, highlighting the problems of globalization. Barkha Madan as Jeet is emblematic, as a woman who stands up against patriarchy and corruption.

Shlomoh Samuel