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
Vanaja is a film of superlatives. It has an exceptionally well thought-out cast with Mamatha being the crowning jewel, a superb production and possibly pre-production with Rajnesh at the helm, a fantastic journey of rural Southern India through the eyes of a 15 year old, a remarkable mixture of song and dance, traditional and modern, blended perfectly, and a beautiful backdrop of lush color of the flora and fauna that make up the magnificent experience. What a towering achievement for a debut director!! The casting was absolutely dead-on. I wish India would come out with more of such films. This film will remain as one of my top favorites for my entire life. 9/10.
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