Rated: 4.5/5 Stars
Literally translating to “For God’s Sake” or “For God”, Khuda Ke Liye is a critically acclaimed film that tells of the path three different characters follow. It was in written and directed by Shoaib Mansoor, a Pakistani talent who debuted as a director when Khuda Ke Liye was released in Pakistan. You knew he did something right when religious conservatives in Pakistan passed fatwas banning the film for its allegedly “Islamophobic” content. At the time of the film’s release, Lahore-based fundamentalists threatened bombing film theaters, though no attacks were made.
Khuda Ke Liye shares the story of two brothers who are both singers, and their cousin Miriam. The brotherse, Mansoor (Shaan) & Sarmad (Fawad), become the best singers in Lahore. Sarmad becomes influenced by an Islamic activist. He begins to practice the extremist interpretation of Islam, grows a beard and goes against music, also putting pressure on his free-spirited family to comply.(1)
Mansoor migrates to the U.S. to study music, where he meets, falls in love with, and marries an American girl. However, the events of 9-11 change Mansoor’s life forever when he’s becomes the victim of Islamophobia. His path also draws attention to stereotypes and misperceptions suffered by many Westerners who have no real understanding of Islam. As one person also pointed out, Khuda Ke Liye is the only movie that showed the affects on 9-11 on Muslims, though arguably the experiences cannot be condensed into the plot line of one character alone.
Meanwhile back in England, a Pakistani girl named Miriam (played by actress-model Iman Ali) lives a happy care-free life until her father deems her too Westernized. His decision to take the matter into his own hands forces Miriam down an unwanted path in a world far removed from the one she knows.
Khuda Ke Liye speaks boldly, trutfhully, and seamlessly weaves multiple themes faced by both Muslims and non-Muslims. It tells the story of not only its three main characters, but uses each character in the film to drive important messages. From the Muslim community in England who pressure Miriam’s father to “keep her in check”, to the judge in Pakistan who prays five times a day but can’t help the creatures of the Creator to whom he prays, to misinformed and poorly trained government agents – Khuda Ke Liye is a moving must-see film. Every plot twist and turn, every account can be traced back to a real-life boundary-transcending problems.
Films are modern day art forms. They can tell a story and reach a wider audience far more easily than any other medium out there. When done right, films can be powerful vessels for social change.Qudosi Chronicles works to bring the right films to your attention. Khuda Ke Liye is an example of that – a little known film that breaks more barriers in its 100 odd minutes than most scholars, lawmakers, activists and religious type will ever be abel to do. It relays a powerful message that cannot be ignored and can reach millions of diversely-minded people in a short amount of time.
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