August 2 2022
I always thought that the eternal debate about the greatness of books over movies in conveyance and detailing had already been won, till I realized that there could be films which read like novels.
Chaitanya Tamhane showed how kanoon is not blind to discrimination and could be sidelined by a sufficient amount of wealth, privilege and the caste hierarchy.
It is about a school going boy who always changes cities due to his mother’s perpetually transferring job, and could never make friends till he finally understands how to find meaning in this transience, instability, and makeshift life.
It is about an existential crisis, the denial of death, galloping old age and the overwhelming confrontation with the meaninglessness of life.
Shuttu feels like a dead insect in a chaotic joint family hustling and bustling in order to complete the chores of child rearing, cooking of meals, and the essential imposition of masculinity.
It is an indigenously conceived Lolita, about the pale fire of love between a minor girl and her older teacher, ending in burns and blisters which would never heal.
A story with an unflinching tone, a poetic sequence of scenes which flow like melody, like freedom, and characters whose own trajectories form the very plot of the movie. “Why does this sadness never end?” asks one of the leads.
When did movies start being a part of our own spiritual and emotional expeditions? I do not know. But it is enough that they are now, and I cannot wait to see when this revolution will climax.