Cast- Sanjay Mishra, Ranvir Shorey, Tilottama Shome
Director- Nila Madhab Panda
Writer- Nitin Dixit
The movie opens to visuals of a haggard blind man finding his way alone through arid lands and sparse vegetation and going to a bank in dilapidated grimy premises with long queues of sweating people.
And with this first scene, we know that Nila Madhab Panda means business. He is not going to sugar coat his message or mellow down the reality that he wants to show.
The story is based in a small village called Mahua in Rajasthan. The farmers are reeling under a situation of abject poverty and deep debts due to bad crops, no rainfall and no work.
An old blind farmer (Sanjay Mishra) has a family of son (Bhupesh Singh), daughter in law (Tillotama Shome) and two granddaughters. He is deeply concerned about his son who is depressed due to the financial situation and bad crops. He is also very much aware and concerned about the changing trends in weather.
To make matters worse, Gunu babu (Ranvir Shorey) comes to their village as a loan recovery officer. He is known as “yamdoot” as the poor farmers are often driven to suicides under financial pressure.
The poor blind man forges a mutually beneficial relationship with the agent to save his son from similar fate.
Everything about the movie is harsh on the senses and kind of jolts you to realities that you read barely as headlines or in small script in news. And to bring about that jolting effect, there are many praiseworthy aspects that come together.
Nitin Dixit ( story and screenplay) puts together a heart wrenching picture of the old man who tries his level best to help his family in spite of his incapability, has a beautiful close relationship with his loving granddaughter and is deeply concerned about the change in weather and what it’s doing to the farmers around.
The meagre living conditions and the difficulties of basic living are pretty soul stirring. The scene showing how the kids go to school remind you of how blessed life is for many and how unfair for others.
While showing the stark contrast and vagaries of weather, the writer presents to us how the recovery agent who is apparently doing a dirty job is also in a desperate situation which also has been brought about by the extremes of weather. He’s from an area in Orissa which suffers from perils of excess rainfall and longs to shift his family to this arid dry region.
The irony of life and weather is not lost on us.
The cinematography by Ramanuj Dutta does not shirk from showing or focussing on the grimiest or the bleakest of the living conditions.
The performances by one and all are superb.
Bhupesh Singh, with limited dialogues and limited scenes impresses. His hopeless and defeated body language, especially in the scene when he reaches the home of a fellow farmer who has committed suicide is noteworthy.
Tillotama Shome as the quiet, concerned and understanding wife is good.
Ranvir is good as the ever scowling recovery agent who later shows the desperate and human side to him .
But the one who blows us away and who has definitely delivered an award winning performance is Sanjay Mishra.
The way he has mastered the walk of the blind, the correct way of using the cane, that crooked gait of an old man , those haggard looks , the tired tone. All of these give us reasons to admire the amazing actor he is. Someone who is a big favourite of many in comic roles and always tickles some funny bones even in non-comic roles with his special style, this time wows you with a completely different kind of role.
There’s dark humour in bits and pieces which you almost feel guilty about given the overwhelming conditions depicted in the movie.
The dark effects of weather change are something that we are concerned about. Of course they bring us health problems and host of other long term effects. But how it’s effecting the basic livelihood of the farmers and many others who are directly affected by it, is what this movie brings to us,in its most raw and unpleasant form.
Kadwi Hawa is thought provoking cinema at its best and at its most unpleasant form.
Relevant message ,ace performances and superb cinema could be reasons for you to watch this one,not entertainment.
Score 8 on 10