‘Posham Pa’: The name of this movie is based on a traditional children’s play but the storyline revolves around the kidnapping and murder of children. Some say more than 40 children were kidnapped and around 12 murdered, at least 5 of them proven. The murderers were three women – Anjana, and her two daughters – Seema Gavit and Renuka Shinde, who went on a murderous spree in the towns of Nashik, Pune, and Kolhapur, some two decades back. While the mother died under-trial, the two sisters are on death row, after their mercy petition was declined by the former President, Pranab Mukherjee.
Posham Pa is a thriller movie by Suman Mukhopadhyay on Zee5 and is based on this real-life but unbelievable story. The movie revolves around profiling of the two sisters (played by Sayani Gupta and Ragini Khanna) by documentarians Gundeep (Imaduddin) and Nikhat (Shivani). While to start with, the duo documentarians are trying to act neutral, soon they get pulled into the story behind the story. They get the angle they are looking for. They finally have a reason for this mindless brutality – ‘Nature versus Nurture’. Extreme poverty, destitution, patriarchy and substance abuse all play a role in the making of these infamous serial killers or so the documentarians believed.
The movie portrays a lot of medical and psychosocial conditions. One of the sisters suffers from psychosis. She has hallucinations of her dead mother (played by Mahie Gill), she also has trichotillomania (an intense urge to pull out her hair). One of the sisters dies by attempting suicide in prison. The movie also portrays an autistic child, the step-brother of one of the sisters, who ends up as a victim, on account of extreme jealousy. It is this murder which leads to the arrest of the killer mother-daughter duo. The movie also shows one of the gullible sisters as a rape survivor. The mother is shown to be struggling with her addictions to multiple substances, including injectable psychotropic agents, which almost kills one of her daughters. What starts as stealing for necessity and then turns into Kleptomania finally evolves into serial murders.
The movie also raises some pertinent questions without stating them – should the death penalty still exist in our society, should individuals with psychosis be kept in prison, are criminals also victims themselves? The story is a thriller. As the two documentarians try and collect ‘evidence’ that may help an ‘innocent’, we have a sense of closure, of some kind of justice being done. But in this thriller, it is too early to say who is innocent and who is a mastermind murderer. Who is the victim and who is the killer?
Don’t miss out on this psycho-horror-thriller unless you are a child, for this is no child’s play.