Vanaja, the 15 year old daughter of a financially troubled fisherman goes to work in the local landlady's house in hopes of learning Kuchipudi dance. She does well, but when the Landlady's ... See full summary »
Vanaja, the 15 year old daughter of a financially troubled fisherman goes to work in the local landlady's house in hopes of learning Kuchipudi dance. She does well, but when the Landlady's son returns from the US, what begins as innocent sexual chemistry turns ugly, ending in a rape - a rape of a minor. Set in rural South India, a place where social barriers are built stronger than ancient fort walls, the film explores the chasm that divides classes as a young girl struggles to come of age. Written by
This is not your typical Indian film. There is some great sense of humanity, and the characters are pretty realistic. There is great dynamism in the interpersonal relationships, and there is a sense of guilt, grief, passion, passivity among the many characters. While seeing this, one gets a feel for the heavy burden of the 5000 years of layers and layers of history of social existence of one of the oldest civilizations. The final scene of an elephant walking away in the rural area was a great footnote to such a ancient civilization, and yet, human relations are still preserved and nurtured. Saw it on DVD, the two interviews with the director and the main actress are very interesting. Was surprised to learn that the movie has not done well (or not being shown) in India (... but maybe not too surprised). The artistic patrimony of rural societies is being slowly lost and its inheritance not picked up by younger generations, as some of the older musicians in the movie are no longer living today. Great film.
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