Jalpari: The Desert Mermaid

An adorable film that offers heart winning performances, an engrossing suspenseful story and an earnest message. It revolves around a feisty little girl, a folklore and some dark secrets that she unravels about her ancestral village.

Cast – Lehar Khan, Krishang Trivedi, Parveen dabas, Suhasini Mulay, Tanishtha Chatterjee, Harsh Mayar, VM Badola, Rahul Singh.

Director – Nila Madhab Panda

Writer – Deepak Venkateshan

Music – Midival Punditz

Plot

Little Shreya (Lehar), her brother Sam (Krishang) visit their ancestral village with her father Dev (Dabas) and Nani (Mulay).

The village is bereft of water bodies, medical facilities and very mysteriously, even girls.

Daredevil tomboy Shreya is deeply curious about a prevalent folklore about a witch and a haunted haveli in the village.

What is it that she discovers?

Analysis

Something that’s definite about Nila Madhab Panda’s films is that they boast of heart winning performances and always carry a heartfelt message whether a hard hitting one like ‘Kadwi Hawa’ or adorable one like the award-winning ‘I am Kalam’. His premise is inevitably earthy and routed and the story telling is simple and appealing.

In Jalpari too, the child artists, their performances and banters win your heart. When the premise shifts to the village, the intrigue factor, the rustic setting, real locations and the mystery tinge adds charm.

The irony, the hypocrisy and the message woven through the story gets clearer as it moves forward and it definitely has its heart in the right place.

The climax though not completely unexpected, retains some surprise elements.

Apurva Asrani’s editing keeps the 1 hour 30 min duration perfect and crisp.

Music is earthy and lyrics very meaningful. Loved the number by Midival Punditz sung by Shubha Mudgal and also the one by Piyush Mishra.

Performances are honest and all the child artists did well. Krishang was super cute and deserves a special mention. Parveen Dabas, Suhasini Mulay and Tanishtha Chatterjee lend good support.

If you love simple story telling that has a good mix of mystery and message, then you must catch up on this one.

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