Saturday, 27 June 2015

Film Review - Killa

Return To Innocence

Film: Killa (Marathi)
Cast: Archit Deodhar, Parth Bhalerao, Amruta Subhash
Directed by: Avinash Arun
Duration: 1 hr 43 mins
Rating:  * * * * 

Winner of the Crystal Bear at the Berlin Film Festival last year, Killa is another feather in the cap of Marathi cinema. Directed by debutante Avinash Arun who is also a cinematographer, the film is a nostalgic trip down the memory – you will cheer, you will laugh and you will also feel a lump in your throat during the course of the film.  Everyone will relate to the characters, especially the children and their days of innocence.

Set in the Konkan area (the film was shot at Guhagar, in Ratnagiri district) Amruta Subhash plays a widowed mother to little boy Chinmay (Archit Deodhar), he doesn’t like the village one bit and is longing to go back to Pune, where they came from.  She has just been transferred so her job demands that they stay in this idyllic village.

Chinmay makes friends with his classmates who are all of different temperament; Bandya (Parth Bhalerao of Bhoothnath Returns fame) is a loose cannon when it comes to language. Eventually they all become good friends and in that process we see some moments that not only touch the heart but also make us laugh. 

The characterization is superb, each and every one of them stand out in their own right. Chinmay’s mother becomes a victim of corrupt practices evoking enough sympathy. But above everything else, Killa is about childhood memories and while we all have our unique experiences, the screenplay brings it alive in a way you can relate to it. It is also about a sense of belonging and being rooted to one place.  There isn’t a great deal in terms of a story, there are just episodes involving the children but that is more than enough to keep you engaged with nostalgia and help the film sail through.  Full marks to the director, the way in some of the scenes are crafted is admirable. 

Integrating the story with absolutely stunning visuals and a very apt background score (Naren Chandavarkar, Benedict Taylor), the performances top notch. Parth Bhalerao’s acting caught attention even before the film was released and sense of timing and delivery is simply superb. Befittingly, he won a Special Mention at this year’s National Awards.  Archit Deodhar who plays the main protagonist conveys just the right expressions and National Award winner Amruta Subhash makes her presence felt in film that is dominated by the children’s performances.  Her performance is so effortless yet spot on that it takes a second viewing to realize that. 

Among other things, Killa reminds us that the best things in life are indeed free. 

Published in The Navhind Times on 28th June 2015

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