19th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival
Director: Devashish Makhija
Duration: 104 Mins | Release: 24 November, 2017
“horrifying rape revenge saga, hits hard with grit”
The film starts late night in a damp slum followed by a sewer, an old construction, a small slum with grungy walls, a butcher shop, and a prostitute’s lane with an old lady. These elements come across as a metaphor for the gritty and heartless society which we dwell in. It’s a notable point; many films this year- (a long list: Kaabil, The Great Father, Maatr, Mom, Bhoomi and The Silence) revolved around a rape revenge saga. Director Devashish Makhija’s latest offering to the saga “Granny” (Ajji) sets the mood and the story right from the beginning.
An old lady tailor finds her grand-daughter raped by the son of local Politician, when the Policeman asks the parents to shut their mouth about the incident- the Grandmother sets out to teach a lesson. It might come across like a formulaic film, it is- but the storytelling is so gruesome and hard-hitting that audience was stunned with disgust.
The butcher, the prostitute and the tailoring jobs sum up to a disgusting end, deserved best for the rapist. The Cinematography by Jishu Bhattacharjee captivates and creates claustrophobia for a gritty experience. I won’t say that it’s a unique creation or a great film but surely far better than this year’s rape revenge sagas. In a particular scene, the rapist is having sex with a mannequin and hell yeah, its creepy- can’t even imagine what horrifying experience the girl or any victim must have gone through. I like the fact that the makers chose to include and delude the audience with the long mannequin scene.
If you like the Anurag Kashyap style of film-making and believable happenings, then this is the film. The way Ajji’s character is written, patience-resilience-determination falling into place; similarly, the film falls high up on a cinematic experience level. The horrors of aftermath/rape are transformed grittily without any pretentious written with a daunting Background Score by Mangesh Dhakde with a phenomenal performance by Sushama Deshpande.
The brutal and horrifying stories which lie deep down in the society and are unheard of (keeping them unheard), terrifically “Granny” (Ajji) portrays the misogyny of the society.
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