Movie Review: Chitrakut by Troy Ribeiro

Movie Review: Chitrakut by Troy Ribeiro

'Chitrakut is used as a metaphor for the period of brief idyllic love, and this explanation bookends the film'
  • Film: ‘Chitrakut’ (Running in Theatres); Duration: 130 minutes;

  • Director: Himanshu Malik;

  • Cast: Auritra Ghosh, Vibhore Mayank, Kiran Srinivas, Naina Trivedi, Shruti Bapna, Akash Dhar, Mallhar Goenka;

According to the epic Ramayana, Chitrakut in Madhya Pradesh is where Ram and Sita had found the ideal state of love but only briefly, till the time they spent there. Thus the title- ‘Chitrakut’ is used as a metaphor for the period of brief idyllic love, and this explanation bookends the film.

Debutant Director Himanshu Malik’s ‘Chitrakut’ is an astutely mounted tale of romance and relationships. The story revolves around the lives of five ordinary individuals with no real hero’s goal or mission, yet it is their journey as they search for love and companionship.

Set in the Western India landscape during the monsoons, the narrative begins with Debu Samuels (Vibhore Mayank), an aspiring chef hooking up with Aisha (Naina Trivedi), an aspiring fashion designer working as a salesgirl in a high-end boutique. The beginning of romance blossoms in his head when he meets Alisha. But after their brief rendezvous, he is stonewalled as Alisha- is haunted by her past.

Similarly, Shaan (Kiran Srinivas), a horse lover who indulges in fixing races and with shades of grey to his character, is in a no-strings-attached relationship with Saloni (Auritra Ghosh). She is a British Citizen of Indian origin. Both are broken souls coming from dysfunctional families.

By happenstance, Debu meets Saloni and Kim Pereira, a pâtissier who bakes excellent cakes and conducts baking classes too. How the intimate and unpersuasive lives of these five intertwine form the fabric of this pragmatic romance film.

The five protagonists are all-natural and do a fine job playing their characters effectively, discovering new feelings, and largely exploring their emotional and psychological transformations alone.

The characters are well-etched with defined arcs, thus making their lives interesting. Their affairs begin in a matter-of-fact manner, if not in the most memorable romantic way, trying to understand each other as they walk and talk, laugh and flirt, pausing every so often for a discreet interlude beneath the crisply laundered sheets.

The plot moving on a slow, steady, and even keel- unravels smoothly in a fascinating manner, and the visuals mesmerise you, especially in the last act. Cinematographer Hardeep Sachdev’s wide lens artistically captures the locales offering a panoramic view of the landscape and, at the same time- minutely seizes the emotions of the characters with aplomb. The excellent background score elevates the viewing experience. For the Goans there is a soulful number from Lorna Cordeiro’s repertoire that would make them nostalgic and for the rest, there is an equally emotional number — ‘Maan Le’ by Arijit Singh that will touch your hearts.

Overall, the film is understated, and at times fascinating. For an indie film made on a shoestring budget, the film is a brilliant debut, more than the direction, it is the writing that needs a special mention.

END

The film released on 20th May 2022… check your local theatres for the show timing...

Disclaimer

This site contains copyrighted material in the name of reviewer/author Troy Ribeiro. The review was first published at Medium. Knocksense is just resharing the review and does not take any credit for the work published by the above-mentioned author.

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