Watching Sairat wasn’t an easy experience.
Now you can interpret above sentence the way you want, but if you want to decipher the essence of it you might want to go and watch the movie yourself. For those who still haven’t watched it, I would like to give them a…
CAUTIONARY WARNING: This article contains highly explosive spoilers that WILL devastate your extremely necessary ‘uneasy’ experience of watching Sairat.
It starts as a regular tale-of-fascination and during the second half of the pre-interval film it turns into a teenage love story, as beautiful as it can get. And no, if you are wondering, has the director depended on the exotic locations, exceptionally good looking and further beautified faces… then no. He hasn’t. The entire film smoothly floats on the sheer nostalgia of the teenage bliss that we all have experienced at some point of time. The beautiful things that literally come on to your face like a 3D effect are raised heartbeats, brightened eyes, frail smile, awkwardness, euphoria, the sudden drain of blood down your head, that awesome dizziness, that moment when you feel the world is the nicest place it could ever be, that extreme and insanely raw passion… you know the things that we feel when we are swept off our feet by the ever-awesome cupid for the very first time, during that tender age when our minds are still untouched by the atrocities of the cruel (real) world.
‘Sairat’ (literally meaning unrestrained, unleashed, wild) is the tale of that gigantic flood of boundless and uninhibited passion that hits us with the first love. It’s the tale of that craziness (literally articulated in a song ‘Yed laagla’) that proves to be the source of inexplicable happiness. This blissful heaven, in all its raw glory, floats on the screen throughout the pre-interval film.
As are most love-stories this one too is destined to be struck down by the most ridiculous factors. I wouldn’t have a to go into details as to which factors, because ideally that is irrelevant to me, but it would be tricky to explain the end without mentioning those, so… well the ridiculous factors are the girl’s powerful family that is hell bent on separating them. But honestly what truly mattered to me was the absolute pain to see something so pure getting polluted by these ‘unholy’ elements surrounding this love-story.
The couple runs away from their village to settle in a distant city with the help of a local protective and kind lady. At first the harsh reality makes them crawl on the path of ‘creating their own world’. We, as an audience, want them to avoid rookie mistakes, but their faces remind us they are still young and innocent and suddenly your heart is filled with compassion and that strong urge to ‘do something’ for them, a.k.a. audience’s complete emotional unification with the characters.
You start witnessing the downfall, and still you hold on to your optimistic spirit and keep hoping that the story will take a nice good turn and things will fall into their place; because by this time the innocent couple on the screen has made you as vulnerable and naïve as they are.
And things actually start to fall in place. The good fortune seems to come around and… it feels nice. Really nice! You have witnessed their innocent love, the struggle they were put through, and this is their time to enjoy the fruits of their hardships. That’s but fair! Isn’t it? I remember saying to my friend during the girl’s baby-shower photo-shoot scene, “I REALLY want the movie to end right now… on this frame.”
But the movie continues. And it continues with the careful steps. After some time you get used to its progression. Then you get relaxed. You get that grandmotherly satisfaction of seeing this young couple living their ‘not-so—perfect’ but blissful life. And at one such relaxed woolgathering moment the girl’s family reaches their house. You skip a heartbeat. You expect the worst. But the family seems to have softened up. I mean obviously, it’s been years. The couple has a cute little baby-boy (who a neighboring lady has taken out with her). Why wouldn’t a family soften up? Right? The skipped heartbeat is caught again and is taking its regular pace. You relax again. There is a happy moment.
Then the neighboring lady drops the kid home. Bliss, right? The kid, who has recently started walking, takes unstable steps toward the kitchen with a giggly smile on his face to greet his mother… and his point-of-view shot explores the culmination of this grand innocent love-story…
The couple, with their throats cut open, is lying on the floor in the puddle of their own blood. The heavenly smile on the boy’s face turns into confused-yet-scared contortion and he turns his unstable steps outside the house to the neighboring lady… his wobbly steps leaving behind the footprints of his parent’s blood. Black out. Complete silence.
At this moment, I had this argument of duel personalities inside me. The audience in me wanted to slap the writer/director across his face. I mean who does that? What is that… some sort of sadistic pleasure? Such pure innocence CANNOT result into something so ugly and so tragic.
But at the same time the writer/filmmaker in me wanted to kiss the writer/director (of the film) for this valuable ‘uneasy’ experience. I don’t get this usually. This uneasy experience reminds me of how powerful the medium of cinema actually is or can be. It unfolds the writer/director’s secret of engraving his story into our brains.
The movie is pretty long. Three hours. Some might think why is it so stretched? The last scene explains why.
All that three hours of build-up, that cheerful bliss of innocent love (I know I have been using this term again and again, but it’s a fact) is for us to fuse into their world, into their characters, and when we are at our most vulnerable fusion we are exposed to this climax – to the heartless reality of the harsh world.
This sadistic turn of events on the script is truly the pure cinematic genius on the screen!
The director, #NagarjManjule, has in my opinion, proved himself to be on par with the world directors, without loosing his cord with his roots. He is original, he is sensitive, and he is intense. Every single frame in Sairat talks to us, and that’s a combined effort of the writer and director in Mr. Manjule. Another praiseworthy directorial aspect is his complete defiance to the gender stereotype. In the film it’s the girl who protects her guy, it’s the girl who rides a Bullet, it’s the girl who goes on her first date driving a tractor, it’s the girl who fearlessly stares at her guy, it’s her who ‘takes’ the boy in the sugarcane fields to romance, it’s her who decides to elope… she drives everything, until she is taken out of her comfort zone and is left bewildered. Now the guy takes over. He cleans, he cooks, he understands, he holds on with patience. The teenage lovers unconsciously grow up. This beautiful montage of their journey comes alive on the screen with vivid colors of emotions and tells us what a marvelous job the director has done.
#RinkuRajguru and #AkashThosar, 14 and 18 respectively, are those small but mighty soldiers that made me doubt the necessity of having spent years into acting field to achieve the kind of intensity they have shown at this tender age and in their first attempt at acting. Rinku has already gotten recognition with a special mention at the National awards, and Akash, even without any such mortal honors, has proved himself to be just as much intense and effective as Rinku. I couldn’t help fall in love with both of them. There is absolutely no other option. Throughout the length of the film these two rule us!
And why only them? All the other actors have contributed equal to the build-up of this ill-fated story and the brilliant movie. Every single actor has done his/her job with optimum honesty. Of course the director is skilled, but it’s also the natural presence of every character that gives the film its authentic touch. Whether it’s a picturesque Bittergaon in Maharashtra or a big city slum in Hyderabad, with every frame we are transported into the world of Sairat.
Having said this (and hoping none of those who haven’t watched the film, also haven’t read this article) I suggest to watch the film and to suggest others to watch the film. This is truly the film that must not be missed.