Poco sabemos del Punjab y menos de los Dalits. Son los protagonistas de la novela de Gurdial Singh y de la película de Gurvinder Singh. Lenta, respetuosa para que podamos fijar la atención en la no seria en la que viven. Su moral es conformista y nunca se revelan a nada. Para ellos, las desgracias son voluntad De Dios, aunque el hermano de uno de los protagonistas maldice a Dios por ello. Estilosa y digna.
Más cercano a la obra de Bahman Ghobadi que al resto del cine de la India que he visto, esta película explora las vicisitudes de los Punjabi que están en la casta más baja, la vida de los desposeídos en un mundo que los ha dejado atrás. Me encanta la atmósfera que crea, casi opresiva. La belleza de la fotografía contrasta con la miseria que retrata.
I desperately wanted to love it but even by the end of it I'd still been finding it hard to relate to. This is a film of otherworldly cinematography, with its beautiful close-ups and grayish, foggy imagery. The actors, most of whom are not professional ones, look fantastically organic on screen. The storyline is, unfortunately, disappointing. The attempt at Bressonian understated style seriously messes the story up.
Perhaps if there was no music at all, which however is not widely used and fewer shots amazed at its relevance and the film would be much superior. Perhaps. What it is, it's very beautiful, a social portrait weighed by an external look at the drama, looking at it clearly as the subject of a space-making possibility for camera. And the breathing/empty spaces within the frames persists.
With Mani Kaul's touch in production values, no wonder this looks at points splendid: the outdoor perspectival shots, the gentle camera pans which frame with a keen sense of measure characters' movement in and out of the frame, the tracking shots, the misty atmosphere and the subtle color gestures. As for content, India's plight as a caste-based stratified society reaches its peak in the abandoned rickshaw shots.
Nonostante uno stile registico che cerca di innovare in modo moderno il filone neorealista indiano (inquadrature, fotografia, musiche), il film sembra affondare nella bulimia di voler dire tutto non riuscendo a dire nulla. I personaggi appaiono e scompaiono, la situazione dei dalit è marginale, la noia sopraggiunge e divora tutto.
An aware use of silence and light, a tailor-made soundtrack, and a mature approach to camera movements and positioning is what really makes it shine. The focus is balanced between an ecological (the social context-individual interaction) and a psychological inquiry (the manifestation of characters' inner life), and engages us to interpret and imagine what lies ahead. Really a pleasant discovery.
I see people,places, things, tracking shots, static shots, the influence of Tarkovsky, Bresson, Kaul and Sahanini but it beats me what this tedious and pretentious two hour film adds up to. I do not know who anyone is nor how they are connected and to be perfectly honest after a while i simply stopped caring.
Marriage of both poles of what is broadly called '70s Parallel Cinema - the formalism of Kaul and Shahani, and the social realism of Benegal, Nihalani, Sathyu etc. Funnily enough I instinctively connect with the mood of this film better than I can with either one of its predecessors.