Have you been humiliated in front of your family members just for sake of their amusement? Have you been bullied to an extent that you felt ashamed of your existence? It’s not easy to go through those memories. Even if you move on, you will always remember those times.
Set in Macluskiegunj, Bihar, during 1979, Konkana Sen Sharma’s Debut Film ‘A Death In A Gunj’ feels real and touches your heart in ways that you don’t expect.
The story revolves around the Bakshis (Tanuja and Late Om Puri), their daughter Bonnie (Tilottama Shome), son-in-law Nandu (Gulshan Devaiah), grand-daughter Tani, and cousins, Mimi (Kalki Koechlin) and Shutu (Vikrant Massey) , who have come to visit them in Macluskiegunj for a week. The house is often filled with their close friends Brian (Jim Sarbh) and Vikram (Ranvir Shorey). Vikram recently got married but still has an affair with Mimi. Shutu is the character that gives us a closer look into the Bakshi family. He is often bullied by his cousins for pleasure.
Watching this film you realise that Konkana Sen Sharma exactly knew what she wanted and has done a brilliant job in making a film that every person can connect with. ‘A Death In A Gunj’ isn’t you loud commercial cinema with the protagonist dancing around the mountains, it’s a film that touches your heart through its simplicity. Here’s why you should watch it:
Brings real characters and sentiments to the screen:
National award winning actress and debutant director Konkona Sensharma beautifully brings a story of a family that is a lot like ours. She successfully delivers those complex human sentiments with emotions. Every character in the film is different and yet leaves an imprint in your mind. The film shows the bitter truth about how twisted people are and how they at times manipulate others for their gain, without realising that the consequences it will lead to.
The Naked Truth about relationships:
The film brings out the truth of every relationship. You see people playing Kabbadi, hosting a dinner party to welcome Vikram’s new wife, people joking around, passing flirty comments. Everything looks normal, yet nothing is normal. But underneath all this, you see the jealousy, unease, mind games, sexual tension, marital issues and the need to feel wanted.
When no one wants you:
In this 104- minute film you see that every character wants to belong. There is a sense of longing that is felt by everyone. For example, Shutu is someone who wants to be loved and desired but there is no one to make him feel so. Mini feels for Vikram but he doesn’t love her back. People crave love and there is a need to feel wanted throughout this film.
The title of the film promises you a death. You know it will happen, but the way it happens leaves you crushed. You see it coming, yet it hurts to see someone dying and the reason behind it will devastate you.
At times you feel there are some flaws in the film but the stellar performances by every actor makes up everything. From Ranvir Shorey’s aggressive acting, Kalki’s desperate need to be loved to Vikrant Massey outstanding performance, every character is finely developed. Tanuja, like always, is brilliant, and we wish we had more actors like her.
The use of folk music in the background just adds the right vibe to the film. From a great story to incredible cinematography, the debutant director has done everything perfectly.
Konkana has presented complex human relationships and emotions in the most simplified manner. ‘A Death In A Gunj’ isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but is a beautiful watch that makes you think about this world and the people in it.
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