Starring: Lily Chakraborty, Gargi Roy Choudhury, Kaushik Ganguly, Rudranil Ghosh
Directed by Kaushik Ganguly
A group of tourists headed for the north Bengal hills are stuck at a railway station because of a transport strike. A bus is organised. Winding their way up the mountain road, the bus tumbles down a rocky cliff into a gorge. After moments of suspense, we see them emerge from the mangled vehicle in various states of (mostly minor) injury. A bleeding nose. A twisted ankle. Plans for a safe return start, but they decide to spend the night at the spot to avoid losing their way in the dark. However, the casualness with which the group behaves while being in grave danger rings a little false. And by post-interval, I am able to figure out the twist in the tale.
But, ultimately, Khaad is a heart-rending story. As such, there was need for careful, and realistic, handling of the plot. For instance, the heroine strutting around in her heels and designer purse, every hair in place. ‘Seriously?’, we think. The film moves at an almost bipolar pace, oscillating between suddenness (the fall at the start) and inexplicable slowness (it makes sense in the end). One strength is the creation of atmosphere, through Anirban Sengupta’s sound (the crackling of fire, a gurgling brook) and Soumik Haldar’s cinematography (silver river, ghostly moon).