BEVERLEY HILLS, California—A first-time filmmaker from India is creating a stir and causing a heated debated between radicalized and non-radicalized Muslims in the United States in the wake of the devastating Sri Lanka bombings.
Balakrishna P. Subbiah’s “The Lone Wolf” delves deep into the complex mind of a radical Islamic Jihadist referred to as the titular Lone Wolf. The film has been picked up by Little House Studio Films based in Beverley Hills, California and will be distributed by Leomark.
The opening scenes of “The Lone Wolf” pan out across a remote landscape at the India-Pakistan border near Punjab. A group of terrorists try to cross the heavily monitored border via a barbed fence and are shot down by the Border Security Force–all except for one, Abu Aatif (The Lone Wolf). Aatif digs his way through an underground canal the terrorists previously imploded and creates a hidden tunnel burrowed deep beneath the border.
Days after successfully breeching the border, Aatif finds refuge in the house of a transgender woman who aids in his recovery by nursing him back to health and feeding him. Unknown to Aatif, his host is raising a venomous cobra that is on a mission to attack the city of Mumbai in Western India.
Once Aatif recovers from him injuries, the highly educated and sombre young man moves to Syria at the behest of contacts he makes via the Dark Web, where his story takes a tragic turn into the shadowy world of radical Islamic terrorism. Aatif’s journey into this dark realm reinforces the persuasive and memorizing power of radicalization and how it can entice anybody at anytime and anywhere.
Trained by ISIS, Aatif is tasked with bombing the city of Mumbai and eventually moves to Pakistan. After completing training in Pakistan, he meets members of the terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba, who help him cross over into mainland India, and eventually find refuge in a secret camp in the Khorasan Province of Afghanistan.
In Afghanistan, Aatif comes fully into his own as terrorist–intelligent, highly skilled and radicalized enough where his deranged mind is unable to see anything except the journey to heaven by killing himself–the edict of the Islamic State.
Eventually, he connects with his handlers, and upon their directives, brutally murders the transgender woman who gave him shelter and quickly flees after the horrific act.
However, unbeknownst to him, as flees the crime scene by walking through the streets, he is met with a twist of fate.
Kalashnikov, the transgendered woman who cares for Aatif is well-casted by Kalki Subramaniam, a real-life transgender activist and painter. She adds remarkable authenticity to the film, as does actor Sandeep Pednekar, who plays the chief of the Anti-Terrorism Squad of the state of Maharashtra.
Deepak Sharma, who plays the role of The Lone Wolf terrorist Aatif, is a model based in Australia and is the face of Audi. Sharma effortlessly assumes his character with horrifying ease and silent brilliance. “Kalashnikov,” the working title of “The Lone Wolf,” is Deepak Sharma’s first film –a film which he also directs. The movie has been shot lyrically by Shobith Sharma, who handles the camera for a feature film for the first time in his career.
The film’s soundtrack is enhanced by an eerie humming that originates from traditional Indian vocalist Seema Uniyal of New Delhi, giving the film a foreboding “Rosemary’s Baby” feel.
“Kalashnikov,” the working title of the film, was changed to “The Lone Wolf” by its distributors–with good reason. It won the Best Director award at the Dadasaheb Film Festival held in New Delhi in mid-May, which is considered to be one of India’s most prestigious awards.
“The Lone Wolf” is a must-see film for those involved, interested, or active in the field of counterterrorism and work related to Homeland Security. Though the film is based on true events, the director at no point makes an attempt to align his main protagonist with any religion, despite certain references being inevitable.
The film was conceived by the executive producers, along with one of the best film critics ever–the late Roger Ebert–in 2012 during one of their meetings in South East Asia. Ebert claimed to have stated the film was highly futuristic and surreal, yet real, and he hoped it would turn into a major motion picture.
Ebert’s wish has been granted, and it has done so with a remarkable impact.