3.5 Stars
Year Released: 1998
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 95 minutes
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Even though Malli is only 19 years old she is already a trusted leader among the people of her camp in the Indian jungle, one of many such renegade hideouts. Malli, played by the plain but expressive Dharkar, has been given the privilege of carrying out a very important assassination – a mission that will take her life along with her target’s. We are not told the goal of the terrorists, nor the identity of Malli’s target, but we do know that he should be very afraid for Malli is a determined young woman. In every scene the camera either has its eye on her or we are seeing her point of view. We see her reaction when her comrades are slaughtered by government troops, we see her dreams while she sleeps, and we begin to not only see, but feel her distress as the assassination approaches. The sounds of Malli’s heavy breathing and sighs are high in the sound mix of The Terrorist. I got the impression that we, the audience, are her conscience, watching her with judging eyes. She doesn’t even realize we are there until it is almost too late. Stylistically, the film has the look of an Asian action movie with its wide angle lenses and liberal use of slow motion and the story suggests an Indian La Femme Nikita. Without a doubt, this is one of the strongest and most stunningly photographed films to come out of India in a long while.

Posted on April 11, 2000 in Reviews by

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