Starring: Rasika Duggal, Alekh Sangal, Nitika Anand
Directed by Karan Gour
Made by a first-time feature filmmaker, with a few lakh rupees and little-known actors and technicians, Kshay is quite simply the year’s most ingenious and exciting Hindi film so far.
It unfolds like a terse short story. The key players are a couple, Arvind and Chhaya, much in love and trying hard to get themselves a better life in the urban jungle. Arvind is unhappy working in a construction company. Chhaya has had a miscarriage and finds herself inexplicably drawn to an unfinished sculpture of Goddess Lakshmi. She can’t afford it but looks at her as a cure-all. The film reveals how her faith turns into superstition and eventually becomes a dangerous obsession. Splendid black-and-white cinematography of Abhinay Khoparzi lays bare her steady decline and dissolution. The remarkable background score and sound design add to the mood. At times languid, at others corrosive, or terrifying, Kshay is about feel and texture. Alekh does well in bringing out the frustrations of Arvind. Rasika has an extraordinary fluidity of expression to convey the workings of Chhaya’s mind. Even Nitika, in a small role of a neighbour, reaches out with her warmth. Kshay’s Indie spirit reaches out and enthralls.