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‘Santhoshathinte Onnam Rahasyam’ film evaluation: An experiment in ‘captive’ dialog

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Don Palathara’sl movie, screened at IFFK, focuses on a pair bickering in a automotive

A static digital camera inside a automotive focussing on two characters consistently bickering by the higher a part of one-and-a-half hours — that’s Don Palathara’s Santhoshathinte Onnam Rahasyam in a single line. However, one-liners will be misleading as to what it leaves out unsaid.

Don, who has the uncommon distinction of getting two of his movies being screened at this version of the Worldwide Movie Pageant of Kerala (IFFK), takes a shift from his trajectory in his fourth movie, however retains alive the aspect of experiment, which was evident from his first movie Shavam onwards.

The narrative centres on Maria (Rima Kallingal) and Jithin (Jithin Puthenchery), living-together companions, who’re heading to a clinic of their automotive for a being pregnant take a look at. Maria is demanding a ‘resolution’ from him. He’s a small-time actor, with no regular revenue. Their mother and father wouldn’t have a whiff of their relationship. She just isn’t but able to have a child and likewise plans for larger research. She thinks that he’s irresponsible, and the newborn would add to their burden.

Outdated wounds

This demand for an answer units off a back-and-forth dialog, making them dig up outdated wounds. One can sense the strain slowly rising throughout the automotive, accentuated by the closed area that we’re caught in with them. The one actions of the digital camera are these made by the automotive, and the consistently shifting scene exterior the automotive, seen by the again and aspect windshields.

The movie will be seen as a cross between Jafar Panahi’s Taxi, set inside a automotive, and Richard Linklater’s Earlier than Dawn sequence, made up of conversations between two lovers. Nevertheless, right here a lot of the conversations, together with a cellphone name and a script that Jithin is studying throughout a break, revolve round relationships, as a substitute of being random. Don and each the performers handle to make the dialog stream look natural, fairly than scripted.

Whereas Jithin is portrayed as a laid-back younger man with some faults, Maria, who has real grievances about his lack of seriousness, at occasions comes throughout as somebody who’s obsessive about blaming him.

However the mindset she is in at that time of time offers her some leeway.

Amid this experiment, there’s a scrumptious scene poking enjoyable at experimental cinema, when Maria, a journalist, has a cellphone interview with a fairly pompous director, who says experimental cinema is a time period utilized by those that don’t know what they’re making. Don clearly has an thought of what he’s making whereas setting out for yet one more experiment.

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