Movie Review: KHUDA KAY LIYE (IN THE NAME OF GOD) (2007)

Published by Shah Shahid on

Wow. I’m in awe of a filmmaker being able to tell a heartwarming story with a detailed look at the whole Muslim situation post 9/11. The crap we’ve had so far in either Industry, be it Hollywood or Bollywood, which have dealt with this issue, have been so horrible and gimmicky in comparison to this film. KHUDA KAY LIYE is the best film I’ve seen that has been able to handle the portrayals of Muslims in America, and terrorism in general, without any stupidity or generic retarded-ness.

Rating: 5 Out Of 5 Stars

pure fuckin’ awesome….

A story of two brothers, and their experiences with either extreme sides of Terrorism is what KHUDA KAY LIYE is about. Two brothers in Pakistan love music and have their own band, until one of them gets swayed away. Both being predominantly Muslim, they are still urban youth, living life impulsively and large. The younger brother however, gets seduced by an extremist Muslim, into believing that music is evil and that it goes against Allah. This creates a rift between the brothers right away and continues through the film.

the younger brother…

The elder brother eventually moves away to USA to further study music. Here he is exposed to the Western lifestyle, and creates relationships and an identity, however still maintaining his Pakistani Culture and Islamic faith.

KHUDA KAY LIYE gives us the two sides of how this young naïve boy in Pakistan gets lured by extremists to go over to the side of Terrorism. And how the other brother, who’s made a life for himself in USA, a country he feels proud to call home eventually gets victimized for being a Muslim post 9/11.

the older, more enlightened brother….

This film has everything: the religious debates, the courtroom drama, the family moments, and the inter-faith relationships. Any topic that could be discussed about Religion, this film touches upon within its story so seamlessly that it mimics every religious conversation or debate someone might’ve had with friends at some point in his or her lives.

Even the courtroom drama is so well crafted that never does it lose any momentum. The Religious issues in the film are NOT one sided at all. The writing is so well done that both sides of the issue, Terrorism vs. Tolerance, are portrayed with understanding and with objectivity. Sure there’s evil extremist asses in the film, however, their logic and character motivation is not show as the campy evil bad guy saying horrible things. That enhances the effectiveness of the plot points even more.

The writing and execution is where this film kills itself. It’s a small movie, not a big budget commercial thing, so some performances are a little flat. However, the leading ensemble cast is just kick ass. Notable mention HAS to go to Iman Ali, playing the pivotal role of a British born Muslim girl,forcibly married to an Extremist Muslim man living in the caves of Afghanistan, where she’s kept prisoner. Yea, it’s as horrible and shocking as it sounds.

amazing performance from someone I’d never heard of…

I can’t stress more how well researched the story for this film is. It shows the justification of the Extremists, and how they blend Regional Culture and Religion and Politics into the reasoning behind their ways. At the same time, they are able to show how the US Government reflects that extremism in their own ways with dealing with anyone of South Asian background in reaction to Muslim Extremists’ actions.

KHUDA KE LIYE is the BEST written and executed film that gives us both sides of the coin, objectively… in a mosaic of storylines that all touch upon one another in one way or another. The biggest star of this film has to be Director Shoaib Mansoor! A brilliant story with great execution and some satisfactory performances from the relatively unknown stars; KHUDA KAY LIYE is a must watch for anyone who is even remotely interested in current issues concerning Religion and Society.

Shah Shahid

Entertainment Writer | Film & TV Critic | Bollywood Blogger | Host of Split Screen Podcast | Proud Geek Girl Dad


Anvita · September 8, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Yes, Khuda Kay Liye is an enchanting movie indeed. Have you watched Bol? That is by Shoaib Mansoor as well. I think you will enjoy it!

    Shah Shahid · September 8, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    I’ve had BOL sitting here with me for a while now. Haven’t gotten around to it. But it became a priority as soon as it was revealed that it was he same Director.

    You’ll hear of my opinions about that as well, after viewing. 😉

      Anvita · September 8, 2012 at 7:20 PM

      looking forward to it

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