The movie ‘8 Down Toofan Mail‘ has won the Best Film (Audience Choice) Award at the Indic Film Festival 2021, the Youth Curated Choice Award at the UK Film Festival. It was also officially selected in the Indo-German Film Week. Not only this but this film was also screened at IFFI (International Film Festival of India).
So what is so special about a film that is gaining global fame? Is everything good or is something bad too? Let me tell you.
8 Down Toofan Mail Movie Story:
1974. Place Delhi Railway Station. Railway employees are preparing to go on strike. But the station-master here Gurpreet Singh is performing his duty honestly. During this, a girl of 25 to 28 years old, wearing an expensive sari, gets off the train at the station. Behind them, three men get down from the train carrying some heavy wooden boxes and a large chandelier. All these people step towards the first-class waiting room of Delhi station. As soon as one enters the waiting room, the three-seater sofa kept there is decorated like a cot. On which the girl sits. The atmosphere of a court is created in the waiting room with chandeliers etc.
When Station Master Gurpreet stops them from doing so, the man standing next to the girl in a Lucknowi Nawabi suit and cap reveals that it is the Vilayat Mahal, a descendant of Wajid Ali Shah, the Maharaja of Awadh. And she will not leave until her meeting with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is fixed. Vilayat says, there is a demand from her government to return her palace of Awadh.
Everything that Gurpreet said to get him out of there only resonates in the room. After some time this matter also comes in the eyes of the press reporter who came to cover the railway strike. From where this matter reaches Prime Minister Indira Gandhi through national and international media.
Will Prime Minister Indira meet them next? You will get the answer to this question after watching the movie.
8 Down Toofan Mail Movie Cast:
- Akriti Singh
- Surya Rao
- Arshad Mumtaz
- Shahrukh Chauhan
- Sadiq Farooqui
- Syed Asim Mahmood
- Sohail Quraishi
8 Down Toofan Mail Movie Release Date:
- 4 Feb 2022
8 Down Toofan Mail Movie Trailer:
8 Down Toofan Mail Review:
The story of the film 8 Down Toofan Mail is inspired by a true incident. In 1970, a woman named Vilayat, along with her son, some servants, and some pets had come in a waiting room in Delhi where she lived for more than ten years. Vilayat was called by his servants as ‘Her Highness’. And used to ask others to call her in the same way. Vilayat used to call herself a descendant of Wajid Ali Shah. And Indira was demanding from the government to return her palace of Awadh. Vilayat remained in the waiting room for more than ten years. In 1984, Indira Gandhi accepted the demand for Vilayat. And handed over the Malcha Mahal of Delhi to her.
Writing and Direction:
Aakriti Singh and Shaurya Agarwal have written ‘8 Down Toofan Mail‘. The writing of the film is very good and well researched. The main plot of the film focuses on how Vilayat’s stay in the waiting room had an effect on the politics of the time, how her life was going there. The difficulties during the Emergency, the sufferings of the people who were forced to start life from zero after becoming homeless in the partition, have been captured in the film very seriously. Which does not seem forced or ‘in your face’ anywhere.
Many political Easter Eggs have been inserted in the film including the JP Movement, the Railway Union Leader George Fernandes, who was arrested during the Emergency. Fine dialogues make this film even better.
Aakriti Singh has played the character of Princess Vilayat Mahal in the film. Even as an actor, Aakriti passes with top numbers. With her acting, she manages to keep the audience confused till the end whether she is really a princess or a thug. The role of Gurpreet Singh in the film is played by Telugu actor Surya Rao. Surya also deserves full praise. As Gurpreet’s character grows, you see Surya’s acting skills grow as well.
We talked about the writer figure and the actor figure above. But it is very important to talk about the director figure separately.
‘8 Down Toofan Mail‘ is a period drama. Creating period drama is one of the most difficult tasks in filmmaking. The very high production value and details are required to bring the time gone by on-screen.
This film is a low-budget film. Obviously, the filmmaker did not have the budget for the expensive sets here to show the nuances of the 70s. Despite the tight budget, Aakriti Singh chose the right shooting spots and did not let the film fade away. She has shot the portion showing Delhi station in the film at a small station. She has depicted the 70s with an old radio, radio programs like the then-upcoming ‘Hawamahal’, big 2 rupee notes, and bellbottom pants.
The film also features the character of Indira Gandhi. So Aakriti has brought Indira’s character very convincingly through her glasses, famous hairstyle, and voice without showing her face which does not knock at any moment.
The film’s cinematographer Shaurya Aggarwal also deserves praise who did not let the film get stuck on the screen with the help of different camera angles, light saturation in the limited space.
Shayari of Wajib Ali Shah and Ghalib are also heard at many places in the film. Which looks good in the form of dialogue. But when these poems come as background music in the film, the prick is felt. Especially the loud voice in which they come. Here the mistake will be considered by the editors which did not reduce the volume of the background score.
View or not:
‘8 Down Toofan Mail ‘ is a very good film. You can put this film in the category of comedy, drama, satire even heist movies. Talking about the country’s Political Scenario, Hindu-Muslim Conflict, After Partition Effects, the film does not get too prettier, or deviate from the main plot.
Everyone should see ‘8 Down Toofan Mail‘. Especially those filmmakers who try to cover up the shortcomings of their films by citing a low budget. 8 Down Toofan Mail is a clear example of how an entertaining film can be made on a low budget.
8 Down Toofan Mail Movie Rating:
- 4 / 5 (⭐⭐⭐⭐)
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