Haraamkhor- Movie Review
Posted by Vivek on January 16, 2017 | No Comments
FILM – Haramkhor
PRODUCER – S.M. Ferozeuddin Alameer, Guneet Monga, Anurag Kashyap (producer), Siddhanta Ashdhir, Gaurav Dhingra, Varun Ralliaram, Arun Rangachari, Mozez Singh, Vishakha Singh, Shaan Vyas (co-producer)
DIRECTOR – Shlok Sharma
WRITER – Shlok Sharma
CAST – Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Shweta Tripathi, Trimala Adhikari, Irfan Khan, Mohd Samad
MUSIC – Vishal Khurana
Haraamkhor is based on a sensitive subject, romantic relationships between adults and minors. Set in India’s hinterland the subject gains proportions of a complex mix – taboo and repression. The film operates faithfully within those circuits, well aware of its milieu, its mindsets, habits and outcomes.
Shyaam (Nawaazuddin Siddiqui) is a teacher in a small village. A philanderer by nature he begins to develop an attraction for his 15 yr old student Sandhya (Shweta Tripathi) and they begin a tryst they do not know where it will take them.
Shyaam is a married man, to his former pupil we are informed, and we know the nature of this tryst maybe dubious. He is doubtful and guilty too. Sandhya is at an age where sexual curiosities and emotional vulnerabilities are high. She is an abandoned child with a single parent who also appears to be of a slightly higher social strata than Shyaam. There are Sandhya’s younger classmates, Kamaal (Irfan Khan) and Mintu (Mohd Samaad), the ‘eyes’ who see what is happening around them. Their interpretation of the events is another paradigm altogether, especially with Kamaal dreaming of marrying Sandhya one day.
These details inform a world of social, psychological and emotional complexities to the story, details that are taken into consideration, but not delved into as part of the process of telling the story of its characters. It does not take us inside the complexities of something that lies outside social boundaries. What happens when we cross over? There is a blank drawn there.
Maybe that is why we don’t take back their journeys home. We watch, we consider, we enjoy and empathise in parts and in the end, leave it behind. Where we found it. Maybe that is why also Nawaazudin Siddiqui, chameleon-like performer in an equally chameleon-like role appears more uncertain than shade-shifting. The rest of the cast, however, Shweta Tripathi, Trimala Adhikari, Irfan Khan and Mohd Samad appear and perform like no less than a casting coup.
The uncertainty also carries forward to the depiction of sexual acts in the film. There is a graceful distance maintained, a lack of gratuitousness or comment in their staging, displaying a certain delicateness of touch and an awareness of gaze. But this awareness seems to be one of discomfort with complexities than in compliance with them. These scenes are disturbing to watch, asking for some hand-holding. But the aim of the film is to neither thrust the discomfort on the audience nor it is to awaken questions through the encounter and the fangless uncertainty returns.
The safe and respected distance the film has with its subjects and characters, the audience is forced to take the same vein too, and it is unfortunate for a film otherwise well-written, well-acted and well-directed.