S Durga Review & Rating
Sanal Kumar Sasidharan's third movie, S Durga which was originally titled Sexy Durga, is an experimental movie on many levels. The movie was shot in and around a van, with no written screenplay or dialogues; actors and the crew improvising themselves throughout. Starring Kannan Nayar and Rajshri Deshpande in the lead roles the highly acclaimed and equally controversial S Durga is a movie about Durga and her lover Kabeer, who almost immediately connect with our omnipresent fear of the probable.
Durga and Kabeer elope from their houses on the night of Garudanthukkam, the night in which men hang themselves from a shaft hooking the skin on their backs as a ritual to please Goddess Kali. To get to the nearest railway station, the couple, after many desperate attempts, hitch a ride in a van with two people. In no time the insecurities of the night that have been so far only a slight eerie, takes life and becomes so loud and menacing. A helpless Durga and Kabeer find themselves in a scary, vulnerable and horrible position, while toxic masculinity and the power is on the play.
The prominent characters in this road thriller are not the actors we see on the screen; it is the unseen, yet the omnipotent feelings such as fear, vulnerability, and power lurk all over all the movie. However, Kannayan Nayar as Kabeer and Angry Indian Goddess fame Rajshri Deshpande as Durga have done their part convincingly well enough while the rest of the actor who appears in the movie form a strong supporting cast, backing the performance of the lead actors.
Sanal Kumar Sasidharan has done an absolutely commendable job in S Durga, utilizing the possibilities of improvisation to its best and bringing out the best from his actors. The narrative is complex, with many layers of meaning and interpretations if one ventures decode it. The making is raw and rustic as it demands to be. Prathap Joseph camera is another unseen, ominous character which has a life of its own. His camera intriguingly explores the visuals, often plunging into the dark finding bits of what is underneath it, sometimes broodingly capturing the obvious. Sanal Kumar Sasidharan himself handled the editing department and has done a decent job. If he had been a little less selfish about his footages, the movie could have been of an altogether fascinating pace.
Final Verdict: S Durga is a movie that righteously deserves an audience. This film is a pathbreaking attempt in Malayalam cinema which needs to be appreciated and celebrated. And more importantly, it is an intriguing, disturbing, and arguably fine thriller that should hurt the sentiments of the collective hypocrisy which loiter in our society.
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What Is S Durga About?
S Durga, which was previously titled Sexy Durga, is an internationally acclaimed movie which courted controversies at home owing to its title which allegedly hurt religious sentiments. Directed by Sanal Kumar Sasidharan with no screenplay, the movie is about Kabeer and Durga who attempts to run away on the festive night of Garudan Thookkam. They hit a ride with two small-time gangsters who offer to drop them nearby railway station in a van. The rest of this intriguing movie takes place in the van.
What To Expect From S Durga?
A Movie Worth Your Time And Money
S Durga has to its credit many accolades from prestigious international film festivals from across the globe. In fact, the movie is opening for the audience back home a long while after it has proved its mettle to the world. So for anyone, who is a fan and follower of experimental films, there wouldn't be much thinking to do before dropping down for S Durga. And for those who are in doubt, the long list of awards it has to his credit, along with some fine reviews by the leading critics, might help.
An Unconventional Release
The makers of the movie are going against the conventional distribution and release methods, with a little help from the film lovers across the state. The movie will hit theatres in different regions in Kerala where enthusiasts of the particular region take initiative to gather 100 viewers. It is 40 theatres that are slated for the initial release of S Durga and it clearly shows that people's love for films with breaks apart with the mainstream notions of cinema has not completely died down or disappeared as it is being projected.
An Opportunity To Rectify The Prejudices
S Durga is one of the victims of society's collective prejudice. The movie is finally opening for the public after a long battle I&B Ministry and CBFC which care for such collective prejudices and agendas of the majority. It is indeed an opportunity to look into all the allegations and objections shoved on its path and finally see what the movie is actually about. And be more sensible next time!
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