S Durga

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This Malayalam movie was screened at MAMI last year and received lots of acclaim. I didn’t watch it because I knew it would get released in India sooner or later. I prefer to watch international movies I won’t have access to outside of MAMI.

The name created a huge controversy too and the director had to change “Sexy” to “S”.

Kabeer, a Malayalam speaking Mulsim, and Durga, a Hindi speaking North Indian, are eloping in the middle of the night somewhere in Kerala. They need to get to the railway station and decide to hitchhike. They are given a lift by two men in a Maruti Van who make them very uncomfortable. Everytime they manage to leave the car, the situation on the road is worse. The choice is between the unknown and the known devil. Who do they pick? Who would you pick?

I came out of the theatre with all happiness sucked out of me. I started the day on a high note and after the movie, can’t remember one good reason to be happy. If only there was violence in the movie. That would be a relief. Atleast I would know what the hell happened. But the director refuses to let the audience off the hook that easily. We are voyeurs and this is our punishment.

There is only one female in the movie and she knows instinctively when she is unsafe. Just like all of us do. We know when someone is staring at our boobs or undressing us in their heads. Durga knows it too but Kabeer doesn’t. Not till it is too late.

I was at the edge of my seat with my heart in my mouth. Last time that happened was at the screening of Trapped. I felt real fear and even taking an Uber back home after walking out of the theatre made me palpitate.

Sometimes what is said is scary. At other times, the fact that nothing is said explicitly is scarier. Because hearing it said would be a big relief. In this case, the audience is trapped in their own imagination going over and over and over what could have happened and what did happen but was not shown.

There were 10 of us in the audience and I went alone. Because I watch movies with like minded aficionados or alone or in my PJs at home. There is no middle path. The English subtitles were not placed properly but that was corrected when I complained to the staff. I sympathise with the old South Indian couple who walked in without reading what it was about. I am sure their Sunday was ruined.

May I please, please, please request you to support such brilliant cinema in India? If we don’t, we deserve the trash Bollywood throws at us. Go watch this one.


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