S. Durga: Hell is other People

S Durga won the top film award at the Rotterdam Film festival and has just been censored in India. S. Durga is a macabre experience of rotting-gruesome-not-noir cinema.The music gives it a punkish coat and yet the movie is an ode to cruelty both to man and woman. The Director had no screenplay for the film. The story is about a couple: Kabeer and Durga who are fleeing to a railway station in the midst of dusk. The minivan they are moving in makes the setting claustrophobic and macabre. There is a blasting music system playing inside, neon lights and the characters are spooked out of their soul. The dialogue, due to the directors no -narrative approach is repetitive is edgy and numbing. The director also takes jibe a the rituals like "Garudan Thokkam". The scenes of participants with speared faces and walking on burned coal is also present. They meet the cops who are poky, idiotic, sadist to the core. The assault begins with physical encroachment in a platonic way and then into a more sexual manner.The film cleverly offers no background to the characters and we have been told one speaks Malayalam and the other Hindi. The story is a total nihilistic ride and you are left wondering if the film is about cruelty to man and woman or both.The title of the film is certainly confusing as the film has plenty of Durga rituals in the starting. The cinematographer Prathap Joseph has done a stupendous job!

Not for the faint hearted!

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