wogma rating: Watch, but no rush (?)
Gorgeous cinematography. A sweet premise. Gets a lot of detail right but lingers around a bit much.Read more
Adolscence is probably on the of the most unexplored phases of life in films. That is surprising considering it has a lot of nostalgic value and will appeal to a lot of adults. Killa manages to tug that chord. Yet, what stays after the film are the visuals - that is not necessarily the best thing that can be said about a film.
Killa captures the gorgeousness of Sahyadris' coastal end with the gaze of a person who is in love with the plush seaside. And when it is does not have the natural beauty, the frame is lit and composed like it was a painting to be framed.
A lot of detail is captured in the little things that you'd find in a lower middle class household of rural Maharastra. The little steel cups used to drink water; the way a lady sets up a gas cylin; the process a fisherman goes through before casting a net – are just a few examples.
A lot of nuance is captured in the mannerisms of the actors and how they react and emote. While Amruta Subhash and Archit Deodhar are amazing with their restraint, Parth Bhalerao is simply mesmerizing by the way his jaw drops or his hand lingers. You instantaneously judge the kind of 11-12 year old boy he would be. I was reminded of watching an Indian Idol Junior show where my jaw dropped at a 9 year old performance, “how is that even possible!?” That's exactly how I reacted to Parth's act too.
Beyond that Killa has a few moments that just get you to sit up and notice – whether it is a moment of bonding between mother and pre-teen son or a group of mischievous young boys. You are certainly going to find a moment or two of nostalgia – yes, the good ol' days.
However, this phase isn't as romantic when you are going through it, remember? Puberty and the thousand tribulations it brings. Not being a child any more. Physical attraction. But, Killa doesn't touch any of these in detail. It just aims to be and is “a monsoon in the life of a young boy.” For a huge part, it seems to focus more on the monsoon bit than the young boy.
While it is pretty beyond expression, the monsoon lingers on a bit too much for a film. I'd much rather spend time in nature than watch nature on screen. Of course, you do see young Chinmay (Archit Deodhar) take in the new world around him, you see him struggle to make sense of a world without a loved one, a world where he is forced to make new connections, again and again. Yet, Killa makes you feel you have seen very little, like a lot was left unexplored. This is without even brining in comparisons from films like Balak Palak or Vihir or Shaala or their Hindi second cousin like Udaan. In absolute terms to, Killa falls short after you've taken in the initial beauty of its frames.
The question then boils down to how much more do you want your film to be above magnificent scenery – a little is good enough or you want a lot more? A little and a bit more, Killa gives you. A few months to come-of-age for a boy just about turning into a teenager – felt too little.
- meeta, a part of the audience
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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.