Film: G Kutta Se
Cast: Rajveer Singh, Neha Chauhan, Rashmi Singh Somvanshi, Nitin Pandit, Sandeep Goyat , Parth Sharma, Vibh Tyagi.
Director: Rahul Dahiya
‘Honor’ killing is plain simple murder and this exceptionally brutal first time effort by Rahul Dahiya brings the barbaric practice back into the collective conscience with a devastating pinch hitting recompense that is both raw and unapologetic. One would think that civilised societies had outgrown this practice but the world over, such murders are committed with impunity and the practice continues to be an acceptable custom amongst villages or tribes where so-called patriarchal honour is paramount to the very existence of the family.
Dahiya’s film set in Haryana, has been shot in authentic locations within the state, has dialogues in Haryanvi/Hindi and features mostly first-time actors chosen from within the state. In a small village, not too far from Delhi, three female lives explode around taboos. The narrative has its characters living wilful, unlawful lives which come to an end only when the honor of the family raises its ugly head.
Dahiya has admitted in interviews that he was compelled to create this blood curdling diatribe on the inhuman practice by several incidents he had heard of – including a hair-raising, spine chilling incident in 2012, when he was in his mother’s village in the Jind district, and got to know that a woman he knew was electrocuted by her family, in a tube-well, and her corpse was propped up on a bullock cart to make it look like she was still alive.
His film in fact alludes to that incident when one of its female characters, Kiran (Neha Chauhan) is pre-ordained to die in similar fashion – proclaimed by her grandmother, who feels Kiran disrespects her heritage because she exercises freedom of thought and action.
One can only be shocked by the human depravity exhibited by the family concerned and Dahiya’s intent is to get people to recognize the evil within and understand it’s destructive aftermath.
It’s a darkly unsympathetic and criminally mired world out there- where an adolescent young girl child, Diksha, is killed in cold blood because she was naïve enough to game-fully rise to a suggestion to display her nudity on camera and an unhappily married woman Preeti (Rashmi) who runs away with her driver is taunted for being a whore and is considered free game by the men (Keku, Virendra) who waylay their white Innova as part of their car-jacking plan.
The men are all lascivious, lusty, sex-starved brutes and the women and girls are held entirely responsible for their own sexual purity- so there’s not much relief in this assay of bigoted bestiality.
Sachin’s hand-held camerawork adds weight to the emotional turbulence , background score by Anjo John, Rurger Zuydervelt and Peter Broderick lend a devastating rhythm to the proceedings and crystal clear sound effects by Abhijit Roy and Satish Poojary makes the devastation within all the more palpable.
But ultimately it’s the unapologetic helming, the astutely gritty performances and the sharp editing that cuts through to your conscience and makes you rail in horror at what transpires in the name of honor, onscreen. By no means is this a perfect cinematic expression-the female characters in fact appear to be subconsciously plotting their own downfall and the men don’t display either remorse or conscience.
Even the precious few times when you have a glimmer of hope that there might be a turnaround, it gets shunted by a scripted payback. But that doesn’t make this hard-hitting film any less powerful. This is a must-see!