After every darkest night, you witness the brightest day. Antardwand is definitely not the simile for the Bollywood rampant churning of movies. Once in every while you see a movie which will be with you for a longer time. Such is Antardwand, a movie made on shoe-string budget by Ranchi’s director Sushil Rajpal.
Based upon real events around Bihar, Jharkhand and eastern UP, this story is about the taboo, well accepted by certain castes & society. Movie explores the lives affected by this raunchy social ill- practice called ‘Groom abduction’ or 'Pakrauah/Jabariya shaadi’. By demanding more Dowry and harassing bride side can have side effects for the groom side too. In this competitive “Moonch ki Shaan ki Ladaai”, the victim is oneself. The story brilliancy was to capture the effect on each side of this forced marriage. The loose end was very well justified, giving you a piece of food for your thought. The camera and the cut were well executed. Maybe a little higher budget would have given a better glow to the frames. The Rustic shots and the location were carefully chosen. The screenplay was loud and very close to the core, as it should be if you are shooting a real film. And so were the casts, close to the core, chosen especially from the state itself to give the real flavor conviction. Antardwand does not seek to entertain or titillate the audience like “Peepli Live!”; it is a drama that will leave you stunned.
It cannot be more authentic than this that the language, the locations and everything else looked real. Even a feudal lord was shown helpless with all the Pehlwaans and police on his side. The human character was haloing over each character. Right from being an IAS aspirant to a helpless man who has no clue and control, the protagonist was shown lost in this social taboo, a taboo which a bollywood hero even cannot solve.
Raj Singh Chaudhary has evolved himself heavily from Gullal, yet another remarkable performance. The expression full eyes with a clue of bewilderness were very powerful, and so was his helplessness.
The characters were strengthen by all the remaining, esp. by Swati Sen. This debutant from Bihar itself, has made a landmark with the expressions. And Sushil made no mistakes in capturing that. Right from ‘the first touch of the bride’ to ‘marital rape’ to ‘the rising of a lady’. She showed the maturity and a promise which can be relative of Smita patil.
And so was Vinay Pathak, the scene where he is a strong, no nonsense male chauvinist yet a father, holding a telephone and advising his son was rare. Perfection, he did match. The scripts were so real you could feel that a father is talking to you, when you are in a deep shit, Friendly yet affirmative with a reference to your mother. Ditto for Akhilendra Mishra, a brilliant portray of an egoist father, who has accepted his mistakes but cannot really show.
Jaya Bhattacharya and Neelima were sexually suppressed characters in the male dominated feudal society.
Songs from Amitabh Verma’s pen were tight as scripts and did not break the flow of the movie. He did a marvelous job for writing the dialogues and screenplay as authentic as possible. No leaf was turned out by his writing.
A movie to cherish the cinema art, after a very long time since Benegal and Nihalani.