Habib Faisal’s Qaidi Band is mostly set behind bars, but it’s neither morose or heavy. The movie, in fact, while tugging at the heartstrings at the right moments, also manages to be entertaining and fun.
Faisal attempts to talk about an important issue; the serious lapses in the judiciary system in India, which leads to thousands of undertrials languish in various jails for years, even before they are proved to be guilty. Those with no financial strength to hire competent lawyers suffer the most. Their basic right to freedom and justice often compromised as hearings go on forever.
A few such young undertrials are going through the roller coaster ride of hope and helplessness for years, when they finally get a chance to get together and sing as a band for a cultural programme within the premises of the prison. This changes their lives as they decide to do something about their fate. These undertrials are Sanju (Aadar Jain), Bindu (Anya Singh), Musky (Prince Parvinder Singh), Ogu (Peter Manuel), Rufi (Mikhail Yawalkar), Tatyana (Anna Ador) and Sandy (Cindy Khojol).
The film, also written by Faisal, deserves credit for being well researched and also not getting melodramatic at any point. Faisal also should be given the credit for handpicking a bunch of fine actors to play the main characters. Aadar Jain is sincere and endearing. (even though he looks a little too polished with a neat haircut to be someone who’s been rotting in jail for three years). But it’s Anya Singh who steals the thunder, with her exceptionally brilliant performance. Anya is a fine gift to the industry by this film. One scene where Anya’s bail is denied, is enough to talk about her talent.
The movie, peppered with some foot tapping music and a tender love story between Sanju and Bindu, keeps you involved in the lives of the characters. But unfortunately the rather hurried and implausible climax works against the otherwise smooth flow of the film.
Watch it for sure.