Friday, July 10, 2015


Had reviewed this movie for the print publication I work for. After a long time, I felt a movie deserves a repeat watch. Again and again..till I have my fill of the blue, green seas.

Hdg: A Journey

Guhagar, the coastal town in Maharashtra, is a perfect holiday spot for those residing in Pune, Mumbai and Kolhapur. Sun and sand is what people are looking for, and that’s what the coastal towns are known for.

In Killa, however, you are treated to the gloomy, stormy, choppy, placid waters, the rising and ebbing of tides and the sinister palms swaying in the twilight. Avinash Arun (who is also the cinematographer) morphs the Konkan into an unknown entity. It’s achingly, hauntingly beautiful and fearsome, all at the same time.

The rolling waves and the pouring rain sum up the feelings of a fatherless 11-year-old, who has been uprooted from his family, to be planted into a different soil. Chinmay Kale (Archit Deodhar), who moves from Pune to Guhagar, after his mother (Amruta Subhash) gets transferred there, resists the idea. He broods, scowls, acts snooty and finally smiles.

Killa is set in the ’90s, yet it’s not a period film. And, though it’s going down memory lane for the director, it’s not a nostalgic look at school days. It digs deeper — it’s about trying to fit in, trusting others and ourselves and flowing with what life has to offer. A part of it is coming of age drama, when young boys suddenly grow older. Depicting this transformation with finesse are the irrepressible mischievous Suhas aka Bandya (Parth Bhalerao) the class leader, Yuvraj (Gaurish Gawde) and the egg-head Omkar (Atharva Upasani). They give the movie its tense, funny and wise moments. However, unlike other films meant for children, which paint them as ‘mature’ or ‘sugary sweet, cute faced’, Killa keeps it real and understated.

In this amazingly visual film, the only jarring note is that of the drunkard, through whom Chinu learns to trust the world. Too many movies have employed the drunkard or village wastrel to show the light to the protagonist.

A special mention must also be made of Amruta Subhash, who fights her own dilemmas in her government job. Towards the end, and this is no spoiler, both sail on to calmer seas — wise and content.

A placid turn to the stormy beginning. And, a reason enough to watch this journey.

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