Thursday, June 09, 2011

Gabhricha Paus (The Damned Rain)

Language – Marathi                                                                 
Director – Satish Manwar
Gabhricha Paus contextualizes farmer suicides in Maharashtra even as the movie remains true to the black comedy genre. The vagaries of nature are portrayed to be only one among many aspects leading to failed crops and farmer deaths.
The film opens with yet another farmer's suicide due to mounting debts. When the farmer's wife regrets that she didn't heed her husband's moodiness, Alka (Sonali Kulkarni) suspects that her husband, Kisna (Girish Kulkarni) too is contemplating suicide. She enlists her son, Dinu (Aman Attar) and her mother-in-law (Jyoti Subash) to keep an eye on Kisna.
There is a pall of fatalism that hangs over Kisna, even as he dismisses the morbid insights of a fellow farmer, Patil. Kisna is confident that although it hadn't rained in two years, with the benevolence of the rain gods and a little financial help, he can sow a crop whose harvest will erase his debts.
The dead farmer's wife laments one day that she hadn't made her husband's favourite sweet often enough when he was still alive. Alka takes to making sweets and this expense in difficult times, along with Dinu's constant scrutiny, rankles Kisna.
Kisna pawns his wife's jewellery to buy seeds, and sows them, only to find that the monsoon is delayed. Under the vulturish gaze of Patil, he contemplates death. Alka persuades him to start over. This time, when the rain arrives, it submerges the seeds. Only a small crop survives and this too, is seized to offset Kisna's debts.
When Kisna takes a bank loan to install a motor to pump water to his field, he thinks he has finally risen above his circumstance, only to encounter new challenges. In an ironic twist, Alka's fears come true in a rather unexpected way.  

An edited version appeared in Culturama's June 2011 Issue. 


No comments: