Film review: The Cloud Messenger (2022) by Rahat Mahajan

Tragic love tales are the staple weight loss program of each tradition, mythology and civilization. Lovers themselves might be sinful or simply star-crossed, however their widespread trait is defiance to the order represented by gods, kings and different energy figures by the sheer energy of affection. Particulars could range, however the essence stays the identical, from Orpheus and Eurydice to Romeo and Juliet to Katniss and Peeta from “Starvation Video games”.

The story of Jaivardhan and Tarini, the protagonists of Rahat Mahajan’s characteristic debut “The Cloud Messenger” (or “Meghdoot” in authentic) is perhaps one such story. The movie premiered on the major, Tiger Competitors of IFFR.

Nederland, Rotterdam, 11/01/2021,

iffr vlaggen op de boompjes,

foto Jan de Groen

Within the historic model instructed within the prologue by means near the Yakshagana theatre, Jaivardhan (the director Mahajan performs the function himself) and Tarini (Lalita Shivani) had been the “yakshas” (spirits) beneath the rule of the lord Kuber whose brother, the king Dashananan (Peesappilly Rajeevan) needed Tarini to be his spouse and queen. The entire thing didn’t finish nicely for neither of the lovers, to place it mildly. If there are parallels to be drawn from this story to the titular lyrical poem written by Kalidasa, you might be most likely proficient in Sanskrit language literature. The connections to the story of the kidnapping of Rama’s spouse Sita by Ravana, the king of Lanka, from Ramayana will likely be made in a while.

Again to the trendy days, allow us to say the 90s, earlier than the mobile phone age, and welcome to an unique boarding faculty someplace within the foothills of Himalaya. Jaivardhan (Ritvik Tyagi), or JV as he’s referred to as by his mates, is a delicate younger lad susceptible to mischiefs, which places him in hassle with the varsity principal, who makes use of colonial occasions rituals to keep up the army grade of self-discipline. However when the brand new woman Tarini (Ahalya Shetty) arrives to the varsity, he’s fully smitten. Fortunately, each of them had been chosen for and partnered-up within the pictures class given by the famed and clever professor Sapru (star actor Raj Zutshi) who might be the one particular person there encouraging college students to open their eyes. Nevertheless, the younger lovers’ happiness is beneath menace for the reason that masked entity of Dashananan seems from one other world to hang-out and take Tarini.

The idea of reincarnation or the collision of the mythological and the “actual” world may very well be used right here to focus on the common that means of affection, future and overcoming the challenges it poses. The best way Mahajan directs his movie, with an emphasis on the visible cues how the custom and modernity combine, and the articular mechanics of the each worlds, is greater than becoming for that sort of story. The best way he steers his younger actors within the desired course is just stellar and the eye to particulars (particularly within the “realm” of the boarding faculty) is sort of harrowing, whereas the fantasy world he imagines additionally leaves fairly a powerful impression.

In that regard, it’s value noting that Mahajan additionally serves because the movie’s co-editor (with Beena Paul), the only manufacturing designer and co-cinematographer (with Anil Pingua), which permits him to regulate the influence of the movie as an entire. Different collaborators also needs to be counseled for his or her work. The combo between the standard percussion and the trendy, extra mild music on an array of devices within the rating written by Nikhel Kumar Mahajan suits completely, and the identical might be instructed for the Kapila Venu’s choreography.

Nevertheless, there’s a little bit of an issue within the division of dramaturgy, for the reason that prologue may very well be thought to be a spoiler of kinds, making the movie’s second act a form of an expectation of issues which can be certain to occur. Finally, it is sensible within the third act when the realms collide, however the runtime of two and a half hours goes to be felt.

Ultimately, “The Cloud Messenger” is a reasonably accessible movie that’s each rooted within the Indian custom and open to the trendy cinematic language. It’s a competent, meaty debut, however excellent it isn’t.



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