Reviewing the movie S Durga, the name of the movie is the highlight undoubtedly. The background and plot of the film have been rendered in the earlier movies of the director, however. Durga is goddess! Out of devotion towards the goddess, man has been performing several rites for Durga Devi as a part of the celebration in glory of the goddess. Woman is worshipped as mother in prayers. In spite of all this, even when a woman by the name Durga, gets out of the house alone at night, in our place, it can be highly problematic for her.
The director, Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, narrates the story of such a night through this film. The film tells the story of a night in which Kabir and Durga decide to elope. On the other side, devotional practices like Garudan Thookkam and Theeyattu (firewalk) are shown to be taking place. S Durga presents the total picture of the problems faced by Kabir and Durga during their night of elopement. Just like the earlier films, this film also depicts our social setup and mind-set. There is a consistent mood of mystery in the flow of the film. Though the camera shots are compatible to the flow of the story, at some places, it seems that there is an urge to make the audience perceive beyond the visuals. The characters were portrayed very well by the actors. Rajshri Deshpande as Durga and Kannan Nair as Kabir are outstanding. As mentioned earlier, this film narrates the story that happens during a night.
The film mainly showcases the happenings of the night in two places. Both the happenings point to two different political outlooks. Both the incidents are quite relevant in the present time. The one dissatisfying factor in the film is the conscious effort displayed through shots trying to intentionally merge these two happenings at a point of time. Hari Kumar Madhavan Nair’s excellent sound mixing tactics have played a major role in maintaining the realistic touch to the mood of the movie. This has helped to portray the night atmosphere very well too.
S Durga has to be subjected to discussions owing to the political arena it portrays. It is quite ironical when we see the ruling power or the government which puts a halt to the creativity and freedom of expression of common man takes major steps for the protection of God, who is the protector of all. We can see people ruthlessly attacked in these premises as well. The film exposes the different facets of adulterated and unreal devotion through the night journey. The scenes are portrayed so realistically that, at times, we feel so connected with the situation that we have a feeling of travelling alongside Kabir and Durga in the same vehicle.
In the era when malpractices and customs are celebrated, it was not right to bring together Kabir and Durga, who have become a man called Kabir and a woman called Durga in the name of religion, observes and stubbornly states one section of people. It is the same sect of people who observe customs like firewalk (theeyattam) the same night in the spirit of devotion. Durga seems to be helpless in both the places. Instead of simply narrating the story, the director imbibes the story and beckons the audience to be a part of the plot also. It seems that the film is made at a very low budget. Probably, that might be the reason there might be an amateurish touch in the technical aspects when compared to other contemporary films. This amateur feeling might have a reflection on Durga’s journey and their mental setup.
The visuals of Durga does not end with the end of the film nor does it dawn as the film ends. Therefore, Durga is an unconcealed mirror before us. A mirror in the scenario where are sleeping of enact false sleep. It is not sure when this film would be released in theatres. If it is released, do watch the movie. More than merely presenting the movie, the team, very boldly, puts forth a strong theme. The director, Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, and team deserve a grand applause anyway. Let’s hope that there’d be change for the anti climaxes created by the negligence of a movie in its own native place.