The Terrorist Review

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A far cry from the Bollywood fodder he’s spent a decade photographing, Santosh Sivan’s second feature makes a mockery of Western attempts to understand political radicalism. Shot in just 17 days on a miniscule budget, this is not only a harrowing human drama, but also a film of devastating visual simplicity.

Not since The Passion Of Joan Of Arc has close-up been used to such telling emotional effect. But such a bold tactic would have fallen flat without Ayesha Dharkar, who is exceptional as the model terrorist whose faith in the rectitude of a suicide bombing mission is shaken by the new-found confidence in ordinary people that comes with the realisation she’s pregnant. Yet for all its emphasis on the enormity of violence, the optimistic ending is perhaps a little naive.