Gali Guleiyan set in the claustrophobic streets of Old Delhi is a layered drama which slowly boils peeling the layers of the character. Khuddoos (Manoj Bajpayee) is obsessed with hidden cameras who hears a Idu, young boy constantly abused by his Father (Neeraj Kabi). Idu, a peeping tom makes an intercut to Khuddoos’ narrative suggesting a shadow.
With all perfect elements of an interesting narrative, characters and water-tight drama – the slow pacing some what hammers the effect. But, the restlessness of the narrative firmly relates a psychological cause-effect. Writer-Director Dipesh Jain channelizes the psychological experience with confined walls standing in as a labyrinth. An abusive Father whose is butcher by profession butchers the psyche of his son, its shifts from a psychological thriller towards an emotional drama patiently. Within oppressed walls, an oppressed character pieces puzzle while the film explores a smooth (manipulatively easy) unfolding.
In a moving scene, when unable to leave the place a Mother commits suicide along with her son. Kai Miedendorp gazes through the narrow streets of Old Delhi, where lives are trapped – Kai restricts the visuals evoking atmospheric tension. Manoj Bajpayee in his toughest role delivers an intense performance. He literally walks into the inner walls of the character, his command over the art leaves a longing impact with minimal dialogues.
In the light of self-realization, a character breaks a wall – where frustration, hope, affection, rejection, love and pain lies in form of abuse and tragedy; Dipesh Jain delivers a traumatic affair, rather a cinematic paranoia. Dipesh Jain’s directorial Gali Guleiyan (In The Shadows) is an effective (bit vague and tedious) film shadowed by its strong performances, parallel narrative and atmospheric setting.
Release: 07 September, 2018
Originally published on 14 October, 2017 for Young Critics Lab, 19th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival. Copyright ©2017 Ninad Kulkarni. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety without permission. A link to this URL, instead, would be appreciated.