The Very Best
Sindhu Sreenivasa Murthy’s MIND…
With elaborate sets, musical numbers, and an ensemble cast, Aachar and Co doesn’t feel like a regular budget-bound debut feature. In fact, director Sindhu Sreenivasa Murthy, who also stars as Suma, pulls off this family drama with a whimsical yet period-accurate, Wes Anderson-esque style. This style keeps the film’s nostalgic and lighthearted tone, even as the siblings’ journeys, most especially that of Suma, go into darker times. As the family cycles through each of their weddings and funerals, Aachar and Co comments on the societal changes that shifted the lives of Indian women in the 1960s. The resulting film is just as bittersweet and nostalgic as the mango preserves the family makes.
With a story centered around a family with 10 children, and the film tackling their struggles and backstories, it can be difficult to juggle the ensemble. However, actor-director Murthy and co-writer Kanan Gill skillfully weave in the individual threads of their stories without sacrificing too much detail or pacing. Gill easily figures out which lines of dialogue and songs should remain in order to maintain the scene’s emotional impact, but it’s also supported by Murthy’s economy of story. Organic title cards, meticulous framing, gossipy characters like the BBC, as well as an effective school walk introduction, relay important information in such a playful way that it’s easy to keep track of each sibling. And, all of this is done within 105 minutes, instead of the usual near 3 hour runtime of Indian historical epics.
What did you think? Who should watch it?