”˜One Less God’ talks the language of humanity

Igor Kreyman as Selim with Reilly O’Byrne-Inglis as Eda

By Neeru Saluja

It was ten years ago when the ”˜city of dreams’ was shattered to pieces. On 26 November 2008, a group of young Islamic terrorists from Pakistan carried out a series of 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks with their primary target being the iconic Taj Mahal hotel.

Inspired by true events, the film ”˜One Less God’ follows the harrowing experience of the hostages and terrorists over the three day siege at the Taj. Directed by Lliam Worthington, the film boasts of a diverse Australian cast including Kabir Singh, Joseph Mahler Taylor, Mihika Rao, Igor Kreyman, SukhRaj Deepak, etc out of which a few were present to interact with the audience.

The Indian community came together to watch the film to raise funds to support survivors of the victims which was followed by a Q&A with the director. He was also accompanied by special guest Divya Salaskar, daughter of Vijay Salaskar, who was killed whilst fighting terrorists and was honoured with the Ashoka Chakra, India’s highest military decoration.

Director, Lliam Worthington and the actors in a Vox Pop after the screening of ‘One Less God’ at Parramatta Event Cinema

During the attacks, 166 people lost their lives, 300 people were wounded and thousands of people were affected by the attacks including the hotel staff, police and commandoes. But unlike other storytellers, director Lliam did not choose to narrate one story. “I had the choice to cherry pick a handful of stories or try to look across the shared experiences till we can penetrate on the issues that cause these terrible attacks. This is the terrain I tried to move in. ”˜Shared humanism’ is so difficult when you are facing such an experience. Through this film I have tried to talk the language of humanism and human resilience”, tells Lliam.

The language of humanism is also depicted through the lead character played by actor Kabir Singh who plays the role of a terrorist. Though he is callous when it comes to killing people, his softness as a human being is shown when he is watching cartoons and thinks twice with a tear in his eye before killing a young child. “I play the role of the soft terrorist and I’m constantly questioning myself. Through my character we have tried to show how these little kids who were once innocent were groomed to be terrorists. They came from uneducated poor families and were taught that they were doing something good for their family. Let’s try to understand why these kids were given guns and how we can educate them.”

As Kabir stands out strongly with his intense acting in the film, it took him a lot of preparation to get into the garb of a killer. “Despite my research, I didn’t know how to approach the character as I couldn’t understand why someone could mercilessly kill people. Before coming on the first day of the shoot, I didn’t sleep for three days as the first scene I was shooting was the 4th day into the attacks where the terrorists had not slept. I also joined a mixed martial arts camp in Thailand, visited a mosque to understand the Quran and tried to understand the reason of killing people in the name of God. Still there were no answers. I had to emotionally prepare myself”, says Kabir.

Divya, who came all the way from India to support the film, was emotionally moved after she watched it. “I was 21 when I lost my father, which created a big void in my life. My father was my best friend and I used to call him ”˜my control room’ as I knew that he could solve any problem. This film carries a message that irrespective of religion, caste, terrorism is an enemy that doesn’t discriminate you. The only way you can defeat terrorism is by putting a united front together”.

Though the film   touches on how the hotel staff’s heroic action in the Taj the role of the porter played by Rhavin Banda who along with others went out of his way to save the guests. It misses on how the commandoes came to the rescue, but it sure will start a conversation on humanity. On how a loving grandfather tries to protect his beautiful granddaughter from the attack by making it into a game, and how a group of strangers from different nationalities unite to save each other. It will also make you visualise the face behind the mask of a terrorist, the psyche behind callously killing people.

”˜One Less God’ shows us the God our world needs at this stage despite us worshipping several Gods. The ”˜God of humanity’.



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