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Kadvi Hawa  : Seems Slightly Off Course
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Friday, November 24, 2017
Drama
Nila Madhab Panda
Sanjay Mishra, Ranvir Shorey, Tillotama Shome, Bhupesh Singh

Blind old Hedu of Mahua village can sniff the air and ‘see’ the winds of change. Both in the land that’s fast turning barren and in his son Mukund’s withdrawn demeanour. The changes lead to worry lines on his forehead as he plods to town guided by his stick alone, to check out what’s the anxiety that’s consuming his son. Unspoken by Hedu or his daughter-in-law is the thought that’s pushed away to the back of the head: whatever the financial distress, please don’t let Mukund become a part of the growing statistics of farmers ending their lives.

 

With consummate actor Sanjay Misra cast as blind Hedu, director Nila Madhab Panda draws a visual that’s unrelentingly bleak. As pitiable as the soil that’s turning infertile. But the trauma wrought by climate change is a canvas of parched brown and should be as worrisome to entire mankind as the lines on Sanjay Misra’s forehead.

 

It would seem that Nitin Dixit’s screenplay soon shifts gear from climate change to a tale of a farmer’s family that does what it can when he’s steeped in debt. With Gunu Baba, a recovery agent who seems like Yamdoot on a bike, hovering over their lives. Even though it’s believable that Hedu would team up with Yamdoot to snitch on other villagers as long as it lowers his son’s debt, it seems to lose focus. And the agent has his own sob back story to bolster why he does what he does. So everybody contributes to the general misery and everybody’s also a victim. But where’s climate change in all this?   

 

Actually, it is there, rather clever and telling. Ultimately, Hedu and the vasooli agent realise that karma catches up. Just as karma is catching up on man for playing with nature.

 

Ranvir Sheorey as the agent and Tillotama Shome as Hedu’s daughter-in-law play their parts unobtrusively as this is Sanjay Misra’s standout moment.

 

Once again, I’d classify this as important cinema for spotlighting an environmental issue that will ultimately affect all humans. But the storytelling, indeed the subject itself, is drab and not enjoyable fare. Truth never is.

 

Kadvi Hawa will therefore be more appreciated by critics and a film festival audience than by the general public.

 

For good cinema with limited appeal, Kadvi Hawa gets a 3* rating.

 

Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author

 

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