Films | Hansa – Movie Review

Hansa – Movie Review

Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on December 30, 2012 | No Comments

FILM – Hansa
PRODUCER – Manav Kaul
DIRECTOR – Manav Kaul
WRITER – Manav Kaul
CAST – Trimala Adhikari, Suraj Negi, Kumud Mishra, Asish Kumar

Up in the hills, away from the raging materialism of the bustling cities life is slower, simpler and seemingly less complicated. But human aspirations, irrespective of our locations are universal. The story of Chickoo and Hansa is no different.

Hailing from a poor family, one day, the adolescent Chickoo and the pre-teen Hansa find their father has absconded leaving behind a huge loan and a mortgaged house. Among their heavily pregnant mother, old grandmother and Hansa, who is still a child unaware of the implications of this, it falls upon the precocious Chickoo to take up the mantle of hunting down their father. A hunt that becomes a slice of reality of the struggles of the lower class, gender exploitation and the impending irretrievable loss of innocence.

The film has two spectrums through which it sees the world, one is that of Hansa and Raaka with aspirations that are limited to red balls, plastic camp-outs and five rupee coins. The other is of Chickoo, who forced to enter the big, bad world of adults without notice grapples with her own despair even while stubbornly fighting off exploiting forces. At every point, the goals of two seem to be in sight but unreachable, just like the desirable red ball stuck on a tree.

It is with a straightforward and keen eye for everydayness that director Manav Kaul delves into the realities of the people living in the mountains. There is no attempt to dress up anything to please our sensibilities nor is there an indulgent desire to darken the lens for fashionable starkness. This slice of life tone and an almost deceptive simplicity is perhaps the most likeable aspect of Hansa.

The children’s search and their denoument is handled with an equally tenuous thread, widening the road ahead but without bringing the goal clearly in sight. The end and its treatment is in sync with the story which takes a meandering turn and is content to dwell on moments rather than events. Without a distinct tone, it becomes a little difficult to assimilate the journeys of the children yet relating to their tiny joys, triumphs and fears comes easy. Actors (names) perform with a heartfelt sincerity and a pleasant command which is as unassuming as is life in the hills.

The film is sparsely peopled. But within the few characters it spells out its contrasts and contradictions effectively. There is this lone girl with a stellar fighting spirit whose father is a deserter. The man who pretends to be her benefactor is a lech but the one that seems like a mad man is her true well-wisher. The mother figure who is supposed to be the benefactor is openly oblivious of the girl’s feelings. The boy who pumps iron is actually a weasel. Among the two kids the one full of bluster is meek with his elder sister and the more meeker kid has a world of guts to stand by loyally for his friend. It is the subtlely with which these are written that inform the reality of this little world and make the film, even if not heart-warming or cathartic, a close experience of a particular reality and universal truths.

FATEMA KAGALWALA

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