Version 1 (modified by Trupti, 10 years ago) (diff)



1994 107’ col Oriya d/sc Biplab Roy Choudhury pc NFDC st Prafulla Roy dial Hrishikesh Panda c Raju Mishra m Shantanu Mahapatra lp Bhim Singh, Bidyut Prava Patnaik, Durlabh Chandra Singh, Sangeeta Dutta, Sasmita

Roy Choudhury’s savagely ironic allegory of rural politics in Orissa. The villagers of Mankonal, surrounded by rapidly depleting stone quarries, are offered Rs 100 for every vote they give the local Zamindar who is contesting a State election. Villagers Bharasa and Laxmi, desperately in need of extra money, ‘adopt’ a terminally ill beggar and attempt to keep him alive until the election so that his vote may fetch them the extra money they require for their son’s marriage. The old man’s condition deteriorates and they have to carry him through the quarries to hospital. On the way, they blunder onto a dynamite blast which blows the old man to bits. The film demonstrates an exemplary control over its narrative as quarry explosions rend the air, throwing up continuous clouds of acrid dust, and picture cut-outs of the politician-landlord weave through the lives of the villagers like grotesquely surreal comments both on the bizarre situation as well as on the forms of realism usually deployed by Indian film for these themes. The film was briefly denied a censorship certificate, apparently because of an unintended physical resemblance between its fictional politician and the then-Information & Broadcasting Minister.