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A Paranoia Dealt with Little Conviction


Administrators: Aditya Rathi, Gayatri Patil

Forged: Neena Kulkarni, Amita Khopkar, Vikas Hande, Chaitrali Rode,Sameer Dharmadhikar

The newest Marathi film, Photograph-Prem, on Amazon Prime Video, jogged my memory of a 2014 Tamil work referred to as Mundasuppati (Turban Village). Right here the villagers have an enormous phobia about being photographed. The story goes that an historic superstition about faces being captured on digicam will spell doom. The movie had an incredible climax with the village mob chasing our hero, a photographer, as he’s eloping on a two-wheeler together with his girl love. And the contraption stalls, and in a intelligent transfer, he takes out his digicam and factors it on the indignant crowd, which turns round double fast and scoots!

In Photograph-Prem, helmed by Aditya Rathi and Gayatri Patel, the protagonist, Sunanda, additionally addressed respectfully as Maee (performed by Neena Kulkarni), can be digicam shy to the extent that she has a horrible worry of being being captured by the lens – paranoia that she has had ever since she was a teen. It’s by no means clear why she feels so, and as she grows older and will get married, it’s revealed that she was not even to be seen in her honeymoon footage. Her boorish husband (Vikas Hande), who retains lording over her and rarely talks to her, complains in a single scene that it appeared from the honeymoon footage that he had gone all by himself. The administrators, who’re additionally writers, stretch this somewhat too far when Sunanda shies away from being photographed even throughout her personal daughter’s marriage.

However this adjustments when Sunanda attends the funeral of a girl, and notices her household scampering round looking for an image of her’s for a newspaper obituary. Later, when Sunanda visits the girl’s house, she sees the image of a younger lady on the wall; clearly the household couldn’t discover a later-day image.

This incident pushes Sunanda to ponder about her personal loss of life and the way her grandchildren can keep in mind her within the absence of a photograph. And the remainder of the film wanders via her try, punctuated by reluctance and a deep sense of inexplicable shyness, to get an image of herself. This sudden obsession shouldn’t be written with a way of plausible conviction.

And, Photograph-Prem appears such a drag even with its comparatively quick runtime of 90 minutes, peppered as it’s with inane conditions. Incidents similar to an acquaintance repeatedly accosting Sunanda on the road with questions, and her personal day by day conversations along with her house-maid are at finest foolish, and if the writers had fancied that these would produce laughs, they may not have been large off the mark.

Nevertheless, there’s something to remove from the core plot, which appears to be covertly lambasting the fashionable world’s obsession with selfies and images. However that is hardly fleshed out. What a pity!


(Gautaman Bhaskaran is a film critic and Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s biographer)

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