31st October movie review: It has nothing we didn’t know

31st October movie review: This Vir Das, Soha Ali Khan film has nothing – neither narrative nor engaging characters—on offer.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5
Written by Shubhra Gupta | New Delhi | Updated: October 21, 2016 3:03 pm
31st October movie review, 31st October review, 31st October movie, 31st October, 31st October cast, Soha Ali Khan 31st October movie review: This Soha Ali Khan, Vir Das film had the chance to re-construct that ghastly day and show just how an event can spiral out of control. But it failed.

31st October movie cast: Soha Ali Khan, Vir Das, Vineet Sharma, Deepraj Rana
31st October movie director: Shivaji Lotan Patil

The assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on that fateful 1984 October day had led to three days of shocking mayhem in the national capital, where armed mobs rampaged through many parts of Delhi, burning and killing Sikhs, and pillaging their establishments.

It was, not to put too fine a point on it, a pogrom. The smell of burnt flesh and rubber was everywhere: the news of the assassination was finally confirmed by the BBC, leading to a bloody aftermath. Almost everywhere you turned, there was a vehicle or a body in flames.

The film opens on that day, showing a Sikh family– Davinder (Vir Das) and Tajinder (Soha Ali Khan) and their children, two boys and a babe in arms—going about their usual routine. Davinder walks the little boys to the school bus and goes off to work at the local electricity office (DESU); Tajinder heads to the nearby market.

Also read | Gandhigiri movie review: This Om Puri film is a crime

And then as word starts to trickle out about Mrs Gandhi’s death, and the identity of her killers, some Congress leaders (you can quite easily spot look-alikes of HKL Bhagat and Jagdish Tytler) are shown delivering inciting speeches and aiming the mob towards the Sikh community, and the brutal killings begin, which continue unabated in the capital’s far-flung resettlement colonies over nearly three days and nights.

Watch | 31st October movie trailer starring Soha Ali Khan, Vir Das


There has been almost nothing in mainstream Bollywood about those dark days. 31st October had the chance to re-construct that ghastly day and show just how an event can spiral out of control, and just how easily hatred can be fanned and spread when the law and order machinery has been told to look the other way. But the film has nothing – neither narrative nor engaging characters—on offer.

Das is hopelessly miscast. The others fare no better. Khan at least tries hard to look the part, but cannot rise above the sheer ineptness of this enterprise, which neither tells nor shows us anything we do not know.

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  1. P
    Oct 26, 2016 at 6:06 am
    Awesome and must watch movie... I am not sure why indian express claimed it yo be a gore movie as it showed much less the gruesome horror as we see in Google search pictures. Probably they still don't want Sikh to get justice. I would everyone shpuld see this movie and know the reality what shameless and merciless congress did.
    1. K
      Oct 23, 2016 at 12:12 pm
      Hindus have slaughtered Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, dalits, Buddhists, have they spared anyone. FU**K Hinduism
      1. R
        Oct 22, 2016 at 4:52 am
        A congress stooge
        1. Barb Dewyre
          Oct 28, 2016 at 11:17 am
          Let us not forget the atrocities that were heaped on the non-Sikhs by the Sikhs in Punjab demanding Khalistan. Do you recall the days when they would enter Hindu homes and kill entire families? How can you ignore the pain when they would stop buses and offload non-Sikhs and shoot them while they pled for their lives? Do you know how many people fled from Punjab leaving everything they owned to escape the carnage there? The senseless killing that followed Indira hi's ination was a build up of the atrocities that the Hindus had faced earlier and just needed a spark to set it alight. Injustice was done on both sides.
          1. Harpreet Kaur
            Oct 21, 2016 at 2:25 pm
            India Express who are you to judge a movie? I bet no one on your team has even watched the movie yet and are badmouthing the movie already because lt;br/gt;#1. you are paid greedy people #2. you are prejudicing against Sikhs #3. you guys should just continue with daily news which you might be a little better at but please don't review on bollywood movies. Thank you very much!
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