Natkhat – The thirty odd minutes long short film by Shaan Vyas premiered on the We Are One global film festival and is an important film that talks about how misogyny is most often ingrained in young innocent minds in their homes and in the playful environments surrounding them, and how it is critical for parents to protect them from the same even at the expense of exposing their vulnerable selves to this impressionable innocence.
Not too impressed with the treatment of the film though, especially the indulgent story within the story format and the sound design of the film in particular, but it is a bold observational on how rampant misogyny or domestic violence is normalized in the environments, so much so that even the eldest in the family either encourage it to find wings amongst others or stay silent when the woman in the house is subjected to violence and marital rape night after night, and don’t bother to explain anything to the children.
The young kid lands a solid performance, Vidya Balan is good as usual, but I will keep wondering if the same subject could have been dealt better keeping it more understated and poignant rather than forcing the commentary through the parallel story.
Also what happens to kids in such households when the halo created by such starry stories and folklores fade off? Do they go back to the dungeons from which a mother is desperately trying to save them from?
Sometimes it is disturbing that our privilege doesn’t give us easy answers to such important questions. And that is all the reason more why using a folklore as the pretext to impart the message appeared dangerous for the film – because a folklore is most often something that does not happen in real life. Or may be that is the bleak future that Shaan Vyas is alluding towards. And that is disturbing. And scary. And possibly what the brat will remain for life!
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