Afwah Movie Review: A Political Thriller, Where A Rumour Perpetrated Online Burns Down An Entire City

Afwah Movie Review: A Political Thriller, Where A Rumour Perpetrated Online Burns Down An Entire City

Fake news and rumors are a daily routine in today's world. In times when news is made rather than reported, every piece of news must be regarded with suspicion and wariness.

Awfah, meaning rumour is directed by Sudhir Mishra. It stars Bhumi Pednekar, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Summet Vyas, and Sharib Hashmi in pivotal roles. Sumeet Vyas plays Vikram Bana, who is engaged to the political heiress Nivi, played by Bhumi Pednekar. Nivi's father is an important member of the parliament, and Vicky is a wildly popular up-and-coming politician in the same party. Thus, an alliance of convenience and mutual profit was arranged between Vicky and Nivi.

During one of his campaigns, a truant attacks Vicky which enrages his cronies. Chandan, one such bully, is recorded killing the attacker. Since both parties are involved in different communities and Vicky's plain refusal to give up Chandan to police custody, the case takes a bigoted, communal violent turn. Nivi tries to convince Vicky to correct his wrongs, but he shrugs off the incident as collateral damage.

Meanwhile, Rahab, a US-returned entrepreneur is traveling to Nahargarh to meet his wife. On the way he sees Vicky's supporters trying to subdue and abduct Nivi who has run away from her home and Vicky. A concerned Rahab rescues Nivi and thus begins the end of their lives as they knew it.

While Sawalpur and the surrounding areas were already burning under the fire of communal riots, Vicky and his team adds to the fire by controlling the narrative around Nivi's escape. His team releases a video supporting Love Jihad, and Rahab's act of kindness is convoluted into abduction, brainwashing, and something more sinister. The combined hatred and refusal to help Nivi and Rahab, their only hope of survival is getting as far away from Sawalpur as possible.

Bhumi Pednekar as Nivi lights up the screen on fire. She is crackling with electrifying energy and plays Nivi perfectly. Nivi seems an extension of Bhumi herself. She holds her ground in front of Nawazuddin, who is as nuanced as ever. Sumeet Vyas who played a serial killer in his last movie, plays another evil character, who while trying to salvage his political career, is also trying to get his fiancee back.

Afwah holds a mirror to the present society. From numerous clips that are forwarded on WhatsApp without a second thought, to major news channels that blindly support or disown certain political agendas. In Afwah, the consequences of made news and rumors are perfectly portrayed. Just as the city succumbed to the embers of rumors, it seems our country isn't far from being burnt in the fires of hell either.