Admittedly a work of fiction claimed to be inspired from thousands of true stories, Firaaq an Urdu word that means both separation and quest, traces the emotional journeys of ordinary people- some who were victims, some perpetrators and some who chose to watch silently in an incident that took place in Gujrat a month back in which many Muslims and Hindus were slaughtered..
The film takes place over a 24 hour period and a month after the infamous Godhra incident which were followed by a horrific communal carnage in the state of Gujarat.It peeks into multiple characters amongst such as a middle class housewife [Deepti Naval] closes the door on a woman desperately seeking refuge and then struggles to overcome her guilt… The loyalty of two best friends [Shahana Goswami] is challenged in times rife with fear and suspicion… A group of victimized young men seek revenge as a way out of their helplessness and anger…
A modern-day Hindu-Muslim couple [Sanjay Suri, Tisca Chopra] struggle between the survival instinct to hide their true identities and the desire to assert them… A boy having lost most of his family in the riots wanders through the streets searching for his missing father… A saintly musician [Naseeruddin Shah] clings on to his idealism until an evidence of civil strife shakes his faith.
The opening sequence of FIRAAQ says it all, when a truck empties dead bodies as if it were emptying debris or rubble. It hits you more sharply than any weapon. Subsequently, you are introduced to the assorted characters that have been affected, directly or indirectly, to the riots. The six stories run concurrently, raising so many questions all through.