Green Chutney Films presents
A film by Aarti Neharsh
A highly mood-led film, the silent intimate moments, those cinematic close-ups and long hand-held shots, atmospheric music and intimate sound design is what sets the tone of our film.
While the film is a long-distance love story with most of the conversations between Anand and Bijal taking place over video calls, messages and social media, we also see both of them navigating their ways through the drastically different worlds of police and acting, in two different cities. Their individual scenes are long and fluid with information coming out through background and foreground actions and nuanced world-building without much expositions. Small details like Bijal tying her hair in a tight bun before going to work in a vardi, while loose strands covering her face while she talks to Anand on video call at the end of the day- are what express what the characters feel with minimum dialogues.
The city of Ahmedabad, the police world and the lack of space in Bijal’s life become characters in themselves. We don’t shy away from showing the brutality of the police - with its torture, corruption and crudeness but the tone of the film is always kept observational and mellow by choosing to show these elements in matter-of-factly way as a dual nature of the cops along with their mundane human sides of the constables like a female constable bringing her young kid to work because her spouse is not in town.
Atmospheric music and understated silent montages of the characters help us get into the heads of these characters who are neither loud nor overtly expressive.
Bijal’s morality undergoes a transformation through the film as she starts fitting in more and more into the cop world with all their shades of grey. The good and bad things she does in a single day as a cop are representative of her own conundrums of whats right and whats wrong for her self and her future that she grapples with. This starkly contradicts Anand’s position as a talent-oriented, wide-eyed actor who believes success will come to him purely through talent without having to bend or compromise. This becomes the last straw breaking their relationship.
Space and Home
She is always seen in public spaces trying to find space to talk to him or to be by herself. Whether it is the mall, or her aunt’s crammed house, or the police line quarters, the staircase where she sits and talks to Anand. Even when they are together and meet towards the end, we see their arguments, reconciliation mostly happening in public spaces. They don’t have the luxury of privacy. Right from her dream of having their own house in Canada, Bijal’s dream was always about having her own space. Ultimately when she does get the flat that she kept looking it on her way to work, it becomes the product of all her struggle and choices- this one space that is hers and earned by her.
Bijal and Anand’s love story takes place through screens through the film as they are in two different cities. Social media is used as a tool to bring out small changes in their relationship via pictures and videos of their lives apart, almost trying to make the other person be a part of their life, especially in the beginning. For Anand, TikTok, Instagram, and social media become a way of showing how he is different from his peers and how he doesn’t fit into this conventional people-pleasing reality of the new generation. This also hints at his contrasting nature with how Bijal blends in with her peers and her world.
Mundaneness of the system
The world of the cops especially in the dry state of Gujarat is treated as a character in itself. While the film doesn’t shy away from the brutality, corruption, and violence that the police force performs, it also tries to look at police and the constables especially, as mere puppets and victims of a larger flawed system. Small nuances like the lack of space, their meager salaries, the fact that a female constable gets her kid to work because she has no one to look after him at home, the crammed police line quarters- show us the harshness of their lives and how maintaining a moral compass becomes almost a far-fetched concept. Some never-seen-before cultural nuances of Gujarat Police like an off-the-record designation of a ‘vahivatdaar’ who is a literal accountant of black money that comes into the station, and the matter-of-factly way in which bootleggers and cops work together- give us an insight into a world that feels fresh and real. The fact that towards the end, Bijal has more in common with the bootlegger than Anand feels like a metaphor for who she really is and how her ideals have played out over the years.