Faraaz Hussain was supposed to fly to Malaysia with his family, but he reached the embassy just as it was about to close, and due to some hiccups, they were not able to get their visas stamped. Faraaz’s mother, Simeen, wanted him to go to Stanford to do his master’s, but Faraaz wanted to stay in Bangladesh and work there. Now, this is a very common thing in any developing economy where affluent families want to send their kids abroad to get the best education. Most of the time, these students do not come back to their homeland because the kind of life they are able to lead in a foreign land is far better than what they would have in their own country.
Faraaz was grateful for whatever his country had given him, and when the time finally came to work for the upliftment of the people, he didn’t want to abandon them and contribute to the economy of a foreign country. In today’s world, there aren’t a lot of youngsters who are unconditionally patriotic for their country, and people are only concerned about their own selfish motives. Long gone are those days when a 23-year-old boy was ready to sacrifice himself for the independence of his country. If today, any person said that they were purposely not seizing an opportunity to go and study in a first-world nation because they wanted to work for their country, they would definitely be mocked and called delusional. We hear this a lot of times: one person cannot change the entire nation, but the question arises: if everybody starts to think like that, then who would the nation rely on? Faraaz knew that he could have an opulent lifestyle in the United States of America, yet he felt that it was his duty and responsibility to work for the betterment of his own people.
‘Faraaz’ Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?
Nibras Islam, Rohan Imtiaz, Meer Saameh Mobashir, Bikash, and Khairul Islam, members of a terrorist outfit, had taken Holey Artisan Cafe, in Gulshan, Dhaka, under their control, and according to them, by doing so, they were reviving jihad in Bangladesh. Faraaz Hussain was also trapped inside with two of his friends, Ayesha and Tarika. Nibras knew Faraaz from before, which is why he gave him the option of leaving the premises, though he was not allowed to take his friends with him. Knowing the kind of man Faraaz was, he was never going to walk out, leaving his friends to fend for themselves. The terrorists believed themselves to be messengers of God who had been sent to purify the land and teach people what it meant to be a true Muslim. They believed that if they accomplished their mission, they would be welcomed in paradise and have an afterlife that had all the pleasures of the world. Had the terrorists been uneducated, Faraaz would have still understood why they had such flawed ideologies, but when people like Nibras, who were well qualified, behaved in such a foolish manner, he didn’t know what to tell them or how to make them see the reality.
‘Faraaz’ Ending Explained: Why Did Nibras Shoot Faraaz?
After a point, Faraaz just couldn’t take what Nibras was blabbering about Islam, and he couldn’t stop his urge to tell the guy that he was not only an ignorant person but also a puppet in the hands of the people who were least bothered to maintain the sanctity of their religion and just wanted to use him as a pawn. Nibras told Faraaz that he knew everything about Islam and that he was trying to protect his religion from non-believers. Faraaz knew that anything he said against the terrorists could lead to his death, but he just couldn’t stop himself. He told Nibras that his interpretation of the Quran was totally flawed and sarcastically commented that if he had actually read the holy book instead of listening to the twisted interpretation of his leaders, he would have had a better understanding of what the Prophet wanted.
Nibras said that he didn’t have any option other than to pick up arms since his people were being oppressed and killed by the first-world nations. Nibras was proud of the fact that, because of them, Bangladesh had opened a new front in the war, and the world had come to know that the Bangladeshi Muslims were ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of their religion. Faraaz tried to make him understand that this was not how he would get to a solution and that this vicious cycle would keep repeating itself again and again. Faraaz made a very interesting point when he said that people misunderstand the fact that their identity came from their religion, when in reality, it came from their culture. He pointed out that a couple of boys in his group also had Hindu names, and that didn’t mean that they were any lesser Muslims; it just showed the kind of culture they came from. Faraaz told Nibras that he was merely a bully with a gun whose intentions were not as worthy as he thought them to be.
Towards the end of the film, we saw that Nibras gave Faraaz the option to leave the premises, but he decided to stand by his friends and not compromise on his principles. Faraaz, along with Ayesha and Tarika, were shot dead by Nibras and his men.
Is Hansal Mehta’s Film Based On Real-Life Events?
Faraaz is inspired by real-life events, though Hansal Mehta and the writers have taken certain absurd creative liberties under the pretext of making the narrative a bit more engaging and impactful. The motive of the film is not to state the exact facts but to put forth a debate that needs to happen in today’s world at all costs. As shown in the film, there were five terrorists who took over the Artisan Cafe and started firing openly at the people present there. The target of the terrorists were non-Muslims, and if they had any doubt about a person’s religion, they made them recite “Surahs and Ayats.” 22 hostages were killed by the terrorists, most of whom were foreign nationals. The terrorists made sure that the Muslims got food and water, while they did not provide any such things to the other people.
The terrorists made sure that they treated all the Bangladeshis with the utmost dignity and respect, and they also tried to tell them the motive behind conducting such an attack. The hostages who were released told the authorities that the terrorists said that they didn’t want their own people following the Western lifestyle because they considered it sinful. The government of Bangladesh launched “Operation Thunderbolt,” and that’s when the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and Special Weapons and Tactics Division (SWAT) took matters into their own hands. The forces took the entire area under control in less than 50 minutes, and all five terrorists who were inside were killed in the exchange of fire.
The terrorists had obscurantist ideologies, and they wanted the entire country to think, and act like them. There was actually a guy named Faraaz Hossain, stuck inside the Artisan Cafe during the 2016 attack, who refused to come out and decided to stay with his friends. Faraaz was awarded the Mother Teresa International Memorial Award posthumously in 2016 for taking a stand against violence and showing the world that there was still some humanity left. Faraaz showed people how wrong they were in stereotyping the entire Muslim community, as not all people following Islam were terrorists.
“Faraaz” is as ineffective as it is directionless, and it could be said that it is Hansal Mehta’s least impressive directorial venture. The film does not claim to accurately reflect those incidents that took place at the Holey Artisan Bakery, but the problem is that their creative liberties neither elevate the narrative nor do they add any depth to the characters. The problem with Faraaz is that it does not know what it wants to say. Neither the clash of ideologies nor the motive of the protagonist comes out very clearly. We are not made privy to the plight of the police officers who were standing in the line of fire, and neither were we moved by the helplessness of the parents who were anxiously waiting for their kids and family members to come out.
The film does not add any value to the information that is already available online. We would have liked it if the debate between Faraaz and Nibras had extended for a bit longer and we had gotten to know the perspectives and conflicting ideologies in depth. The film never reaches that crescendo that you would want a film of such a genre to reach, and it stays a dull and mundane retelling of facts. The film also highly lacks in its emotional quotient, and it isn’t able to have the kind of impact that other films of the same genre have had before. We know the caliber of Hansal Mehta, and we are aware of the kind of masterpieces he has the potential to deliver, and that’s what makes us even more disappointed. There was a story hidden somewhere in the events that took place on that fateful day, but the makers were probably not able to identify it, and even if they did, they were not able to deliver it on screen.