Rahul Chahan, Arun Shekhar, Nilam Kumari, Padamja Rai, Nand Kishore Pant
Neelam R. Singh
Irrespective of how far we go in terms of science and technology, there are sections in our very own country that are encumbered with regressive customs and ideologies. Women coming after cows, caste coming before humanity and so on…. In such circumstances, director Neelam R Singh decided to turn author Shivmurthi’s novel Tarpan into a feature film as a ugly reflection of the true face of the society.
Rajpatiya (Nilam Kumari) lives in a small village in the north of India. Innocent of the ways of the world though she is already aware that she comes from the unfortunate Harijan section of their village. Shemostly steers clear of the Brahmin section. However, one fateful day, as she was walking in the sugarcane fields, she enters the forbidden zone and gets caught by the Chandar (Abhishek Madarecha). Chandar tries to molest Rajpatiya, but is unsuccessful.
Once home, Rajpatiya relates the incident to her father. Given Chandar is the son of the Brahmin leader, Rajpatiya’s father decides to seek help with their community head Bhayyaji (Sanjay Kumar) With elections around the corner, Bhayyaji tries using the incident to his advantage. From the moment, Bhayyaji takes her father to report the incident to the police, Rajpatiya finds herself in the middle of a political and communal fiasco. No one considers her feelings; she is a mere pawn in the entire episode…
While every actor has done justice to their part, the fact is that each and every character will remind you of someone you have already seen in the movies. There is nothing in the script that’s new. Worse, much bigger names have tried to do something similar on huger canvas.
Neelam R Singh, the director of the film has refrained from using any kind of theatrics to narrate her story. But in her docu-drama, the lack of histrionics leads to a lacklustre tone that makes the film a dreary affair.
While one feels sorry and even helpless at parts, one doesn’t connect emotionally to the characters. Given the budget in which the film has been made, you can be rest assured that visually there is nothing stimulating for the audience.
The linear story-telling, the chaos in the characters kick in the slumber. Throughout the film, the dust and sweat onscreen might keep reminding you that it is a realistic affair, but somehow the dialogues are too bookish and lack the punch.
Opportunities that Neelam R Singh should have used to her benefit, in terms of actor’s gumption, background score, cinematography are all half rate works. Clearly the film was made keeping in mind the politics of the state and not really the state of the people in the audience.