Film: Kadvi Hawa
Cast: Sanjay Mishra, Ranvir Shorey, Tilottama Shome, Bhupesh Singh
Director: Nila Madhab Panda
Rating: * * * ½
‘Kadvi Hawa/ Bitter Winds’ is basically a cinematic denouncement of man’s unrepentant ravishment of nature’s bounty. But you wouldn’t know that till you watch the final denouement here- that which delivers a body blow to those ignorant and critical of the campaign to save the earth’s precious resources.
Mahua, Bundelkhand, where the film is situated, is barren and ravaged, the harsh terrain showing little signs of life – other than the handful of characters resident in the region. The seasonal rain has been playing truant and the subsistence farmers have already begun crumbling under unresolvable debt.
The old blind man (Sanjay Mishra) whose differences with his son Mukund (Bhupesh Singh) are obvious, is pretty clued in to the temperature of defeat within his region. So, when an ambitious debt collector from Orissa, Gunu (Ranvir Shorey) starts setting up daily targets for collection, he knows his son is bound to become the next victim.
As he tells Gunu Babu, “Whenever you come for collections at least 4-5 people lose their lives.” But Gunu has a job to do and his own issues to deal with – which is brought out so beautifully at the end when victim and perpetrator end up on the same side- both harrowed by natural calamities that have rendered them defenceless.
This is cinema at its subtlest. Gunu is not as black as the villagers perceive him to be. He in fact is preparing for the day when his own family can escape from the flood prone Kakrapada zone and seek solace in the Barren Bundelkhand region. To each his own haven I guess. After I Am Kalam this is Nila Madhab Panda’s second most accomplished film.
There’s not an iota of unnatural allure in the telling. The narrative is stark and depraved and the camerawork, editing and performances grab at you as though calling out for some solace – in this heart-breaking tableau where survival itself is in doubt. The performances are impeccable and so true to life that it’s hard to tell whether they were actors or real people.