LIFF 2016 Review ~ ENEMY?

The London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) 2016 held the international premiere of Konkani film, Enemy?. The film’s screening was supported by DESIblitz.

LIFF 2016 Review ~ ENEMY

Enemy? has some brilliant performances by its actors

The London Indian Film Festival, in its 7th edition, brings Konkani film, Enemy? to the UK where it makes its international premiere.

This is after receiving a highly appreciated response in India, by winning a national award for best Konkani award and the Dadasaheb Phalke award.

The screening, which was held in Cineworld Wandsworth, was enjoyed by an audience consisting of members of the media and the London Konkani community.

Many of which enjoy watching films from the state of Goa and even came to 2015’s screening of LIFF first Konkani film, Nachom-Ia Kumpasar.

Enemy? is directed by Dinesh P. Bhonsle, and stars Meenacshi Martins, Salil Naik and Antonio Crasto in leading roles.

The film follows a Goan Catholic family who find that they have lost their property to the Government. As a result, their family honour is at stake.

An Indian army captain, Sanjit (played by Salil Naik) and his mother, Isabella (played by Meenacshi Martins) later learn that corrupt civil servants and politicians have used the Enemy Property Act of 1968 to usurp their prime land.

LIFF 2016 Review ~ ENEMY

As they attempt to fight back against the injustice, they find other families who have also fallen victim to government corruption.

As the tension and drama builds up, Sanjit finds himself pushed to the edge. His reaction leads to a gripping climax.

In the wake of the Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971, there was migration of people from India to Pakistan. Under the Defence of India Act, the government took over the properties and companies of such persons who had taken Pakistani nationality. The Enemy Property Act was put into force in 1968.

As a result, this law has affected thousands after the partition of India and Pakistan. Most significantly in North India.

This is particularly in light of limited documentation or changes in documentation that may have proven ownership by an Indian citizen instead of a Pakistani citizen.

Directed by Dinesh Bhonsle, Konkani culture is beautifully displayed in the film through traditional scenes of marriage and the jovial celebration of Christmas.

With cinematographer Vikram Kumar Amladi and art director Sushant Tari making the most of the scenic landscape, the cinematography captures the beauty of quaint and calm Goa. The screenplay also integrates the character’s lives beyond the issue of the property law.

LIFF 2016 Review ~ ENEMY

The music of Enemy?, composed by Schubert Cotta, bursts with Konkani vibrance and helps in transporting audience to Goa.

Enemy? has some brilliant performances by its actors. In particular, the female protagonist, Isabella, played by Meenacshi Martins who shows strength despite their vulnerability. And the male protagonist, Sanjit, played by Salil Naik, who is her shimmer of hope.

Salil particularly shines in the gripping climax of the film. Samiksha Desai, who has previously worked with Salil in theatre, supports the two protagonists well as a fierce journalist.

Enemy? gives you an insight into the past and present to convey how the story unfolds through a series of flashbacks.

However, the film could have been more slickly edited to make a clearer distinction between the flashbacks and present. However, with the narrative packed in a mere 100 minutes, Enemy? endeavors to keep every scene relevant.

Enemy? was a film that was not only vibrant with Konkani culture but raised awareness of property law injustices.

The tense narrative also finds time to incorporate the vibrant colours and music of Goa while telling a chilling and compelling tale.

The film will be holding another screening on July 20, 2016 at Cineworld Haymarket if the chance was missed to catch it in its first screening.

To find out more about film screenings and special screen talks across London and Birmingham, visit the London Indian Film Festival website.

Sonika is a full-time medical student, Bollywood enthusiast and lover of life. Her passions are dancing, travelling, radio presenting, writing, fashion and socialising! “Life isn’t measured by the number of breaths taken but by moments that take our breath away.”

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