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UMA The Casualties of War
A brother, weighed down with his police duties, has to shoot his sister who is a rebel. In the wake of the Maoist Insurgency, we witness the vulnerability of relationships and the results of a wasted war.
Uma (Reecha Sharma) is represented as a castaway, she drifts away during the course of the movie. When we first meet her, she has an inquiring view on everything. She pens provocative lines about the blazing political disorder in her country. And in poetry gatherings, hosted by her mentor Sunil sir, she advocates the pursuit of equality in her rhymes. For her, Sunil sir is more of a father figure than a teacher. Uma nestles in with her overtly concerned brother and an ailing mother. Her brother Milan (Saugat Malla) is a dutiful cop. He always tries to restrict his sister according to his terms but then, it only takes him few minutes to easily put up with his sister's whims. Her mother (Mithila Sharma) is equally protective of both of her children. In them, there lies a standard definition of a "happy family".
An engineering drop-out, Anil (Prawin Khatiwada), comes to Uma's place. He is poised with socialism and is determined to bring a social wave out of the grassroots. Anil has an almost hypnotic impression on Uma. Together they read the works of Devkota and mingle their romance with revolution. With Sunil sir, they both adopt the literary course to squeeze out the frustration, discrimination and exploitation that the state has dumped onto its citizens. These teasing acts, unfortunately, jerk the governmental watchdogs, who falsely accuse Sunil sir for being a Maoist and later, they gun him down. This initial event proves to be a reference point that dictates Uma's wreckage throughout the entirety of the film.
We hide behind her back as she transitions as a Maoist cadre. Inflicted by the fluctuating events in her life, she's exhausted but hasn't gone numb. She gets a political identity and strives to significance instead of lingering as a Lost Soul. But she's still haunted by the memories of her family and she reminisces without any determination to return back.
Tsering Rhitar Sherpa moves the story by testing Uma's endurance, in almost every scene. He doesn't let any frame go into wastage. Uma paces actively with the story's flow, which makes this two hours and odd minutes long film engaging and thoroughly mesmerizing. The screenplay is crafty and tones down the violence and murk to churn out a genuine, crowd-friendly drama. With Uma, I was assured that there is a commercial way to show a realistic story in its authenticity. Kudos to Tshering!
Saugat and Reecha flawlessly nudge into their characters. Every time when they share the screen, especially in the later scenes, there are vibes of conflicts that depict both of their vicarious sufferings. Also, the supporting characters are etched distinctively and have so much to say. Thus, the film remains good-looking and daring.
At its core Uma is an odyssey of a young girl, who once happened to have an affectionate family, a career plan and a feeble sense of reality. Her journey, however, is shaped up by strong male counterparts. It is essential to observe that Uma never makes her own decisions; she randomly surges into the choices these people make for her. This is the stinging allegory that remains with you after you've watched Uma.