Cargo is a futuristic sci-fi film that is set on a spaceship where a good looking demon works for the Post Death Transition services with the help of a female astronaut, where dead people are recycled for rebirth (super futuristic no doubt)
Cast – Vikrant Massey, Shweta Tripathi, Konkana Sen (Cameo)
Director- Arati Kadav
The Long List of Woes
I agree that we normally feel excited to see Hindi cinema delving into sci-fi, which is a rare phenomenon, and are generally keen to gobble up anything that’s doled out, excited and jumping with glee but I think it’s highly unfair to serve us a half-cooked bland fare.
Cargo opens to show us 2027 (just 7 yrs away… isn’t that too soon?🤔) and some gibberish about a pact between demons and humans and their collaborative project of spaceships that handle Post Death Transition services. Prahastha (Vikrant) is a good looking “modern day” demon working alone on one such spaceship till he is joined by a female astronaut, Yuvishka (Shweta).
The “cargos” they receive are people who have died on earth (surprisingly unsurprised to suddenly find themselves on a spaceship even in case of accidental deaths, they land absolutely nonplussed, devoid of shock or grief though equally keen to finish their unfinished business… contradictory… huh)
They are cleared of their physical possessions (just like those airport check processes complete with plastic trays and all and in a proper queue… I really appreciate the discipline).
Now the blasphemy! The belongings are then disposed off in open space!!! Don’t they know that this trash will keep floating around till eternity? 😨
They are then healed physically (with some kind of equipment that looks straight from a class 6 science project) and then finally erased of all their memories.
Prahastha seems to be old school types… writing letters (as in proper pen-paper wala letters ) to his lady love which he never sends anyways.
All the equipment present in the spaceship is remodelled stuff from somewhere back in late 60s. I mean you can literally recognise those old style TV screens and transistor style boxes.
The touchscreen gadgets have unfortunately gotten bigger and bulkier than what we see now (wait…isn’t that supposed to be the other way round 🤨)
The news articles about earth are pictures of the old style newspapers that we used to have years back (I mean there are digital versions of news even in 2020!🙄)
The list of such flaws is long. Let’s leave it at that.
I failed to understand how could the film makers rope in such good actors like Massey and Tripathi (something to do with Anurag Kashyap being the producer I guess?) and such amazingly bad quality extras at the same time. I mean an eye for quality should be the same for both na?
I agree that small films have budget constraints. But then why delve into sci-fi?… that too a concept that requires some decent physical infrastructure or special effects or something…
Swearing by God that I always give my best shot while watching something new and I didn’t fast forward this anywhere fearing to miss that eureka moment when I could guess what the makers are trying to convey. But alas… !
I really appreciate how Anurag Kashyap is always supporting new talent, new formats, new concepts, but expecting some of his qualitative inputs wouldn’t be asking for too much I hope.
The film is nothing but a big drag of time and wastage of two very good actors. The only thing I can appreciate is the novelty of concept (which they couldn’t execute unfortunately).
But for that alone, can I request those who have Netflix, to give it a try? I mean you never know…