Sanjay Mishra, Ranvir Shorey, Tillotama Shome, Bhupesh Singh
Nila Madhab Panda
Kadvi Hawa brings us the bitter truth that we are living a life completely oblivious of the state of affairs in our own country. While our farmers die, we are busy looking for the perfect recipe to success. We assume that we are impervious; the ill-fate the others are suffering will never be ours… this lack of apathy stinks of ignorance. With the foundation crumbling we will never have our dreams accomplished and Nila Madhab Panda has repeatedly tried puncturing the bubble we live in and strives to open our hearts & minds through his cinema.
His latest National Award winning film, Kadvi Hawa, is about a sightless wise old man, who is helplessly watching his son fall apart in the barren lands that they call home. The rain-forsaken dry lands have been slowly edging their farmers into a life of despair and eventually, to take their own life. Hedu (Sanjay Mishra) fears his son Mukund (Bhupesh Singh) will meet the same end. The debt of loans are heavy on them, given there has been no rain, no respite. The despair blackens when a recovery agent – Gunu Baba (Ranvir Shorey) comes to the village. He shows no mercy and he is there to do his job and ensure that the farmers pay up. He knows the effect his arrival makes on the village, but he wears the ‘Yamdoot’ badge as a medal for a job well-done.
However, as Gunu reaches Hedu’s village, Hedu starts fearing the fate of his debt-laden son. The despondency and helplessness takes Hedu to the recovery officer’s office. The plan was to beg and plead Mukund’s case but Hedu soon realizes that Gunu needs to do the work he has come for. The reason Gunu doesn’t mind the epithets he gets associated with, is because he is working with a single minded dedication to get his family away from Odisha’s flood prone village.
With his initial plan drying up like the land before him, Hedu decides to start tipping off Gunu about villagers who have managed to acquire some money. So while Gunu extracts the money from them, Hedu’s son Mukund lives on. While both Hedu and Gunu sell their soul to the devil to save their families, you realize the deep misery that surrounds our farmers today.
Coming at a time when millions of farmers across India marched to Delhi to speak about their miserable state, Panda’s film has arrived when the awareness is catching momentum. But Panda isn’t talking about one problem alone. There are a multitude of things going wrong – the extreme climate changes, the loan sharks and the more… Panda touches upon each and every aspect, without preaching sermons. Kadvi Hawa is a bitter pill but given without bitterness. There are moments which bring a smile, despite the doom around. Hedu's relationship with his granddaughter, the children in the village, the small moments between Hedu and Gunu are sweet in their own way.
Along with Panda, the credit for such brilliance in cinema goes to the impeccable screenplay and dialogues by Nitin Dixit, he keeps the reality and yet, manages to translate it into the simplicity of the film. Also the cinematography by Ramanuj Dutta helps the film greatly. The vastness of each frame accentuates the barren misery of the land and the people making each sequence more hard-hitting.
Of course, the most prominent contribution to Kadvi Hawa is from its actors. Sanjay Mishra and Ranvir Shorey – both get into the skin of the characters with such precision that you are blown away. Their clothes, their diction, their body language is perfectly in sync with the topography of the film. In explaining the circumstances of the protagonists, the pace of the film slackens considerably, but when there is so much to say, hear and ponder about, the pace doesn’t bother the story-telling.
Go for it with a fresh mind and come out with an open heart.