India Independent Film Review “Yatharth”



First, the Recap:

Revulsion. Ill will. Animosity. Terms, only some of far too many, that signify an attitude of disdain towards whatever object they might be directed at. While we so often utilize such words in relation to even the most mundane of things in life that cause us annoyance, the more hurtful instances begin when it all lands against a fellow human being. On what started as a normal evening at a local eatery, one of the help staff named Kinnar (Amardeep Roy) comes to take the order for two customers (Mohan S. and Jekk Mistry). However, on this night, the two men realize that Kinnar isn’t exactly what they’d expected.

Now coming to the total understanding Kinnar is transgender, the pair immediate begin to treat the situation with a growing contempt, belittling and mocking Kinnar with bitter and harshly jovial intent. Yet, as the situation escalates and it becomes more and more unsettling for Kinnar, another patron named Vasil (Vasil Khan), a local social worker, confronts the two hecklers with pointed voracity, challenging them to realize the damage they’re causing while also making them realize what could very well be their own faults and imperfections. Yet, out of the encounter, Kinnar faces a dark night of the soul in coming to grips with such overt enmity, but ultimately finds freedom, self-realization, and newfound confidence.

Next, my Mind:

As this reviewer has indicated in the past, there are certain, general thematic explorations in films that aren’t preferred as a whole. Yet, when truly addressed in a way that puts the focus not only on said elements, but on even greater themes and motifs in an artful and straightforward manner (ie: the short film “Sisak“), then credit can very much be given. Such again happens to be the case for writer/director Abhinav Thakur’s nine and a half minute short film that takes the concept of transgender and turns it into a very strongly presented statement about the nature of how we as human beings continue to lash out in anger, antagonism, resentment, and hostility (via words or physically) at what we don’t understand or make any effort to do so, as it doesn’t line up with our own sense of “acceptable”. The raw, gritty visuals given here act to intensify the air of spitefulness intended while showing the emotionally shattering effect it has on Kinnar. Yet in the midst of this darkness, there is the light of those who would defend against such bitter resolve, which gives hope to the narrative ultimately.

There’s no getting past Roy’s both understated then affectingly raw performance here as Kinnar, a transgendered individual who only seeks to make their way, earn a living, and simply exist. The sudden verbal attack Kinnar undergoes is both subtle yet painfully biting in its hurtful purpose, even as those responsible treat it as if it’s their right to do as they are. Seeing the initial grief Kinnar feels turn into an full out demeanor of wretchedness is highly impactful, emphasizing the heaviness negativity can bring upon someone. However, choosing to fight through the torment and stand firm, Kinnar comes out of it with a much greater sense of self-esteem and worth, embracing the world, and comprehending that despite the despair, there is still hope to overcome.  All of this is solidly portrayed by Roy. The supporting turns provided by Khan as the social worker Vasil who gives a deserved tongue-lashing to the mockers, Mohan S. and Mistry as the two men who think tearing someone down they don’t understand is a good thing, only to have it thrown back at them, and film’s primary setting’s actual restaurant owner Adaiya Jadhav, all serve to further serve to help drive the greater story forward with equally solid execution.

In total, “Yatharth” stands as another independent effort that takes its base concept and carries it beyond just being a random platform to support the lifestyle presented, rather shining a revealing light on the foundations of the current society’s need to loathe and detest anything we don’t believe in ourselves, using it as an excuse to attack and demean. So, may it at minimum be a lesson that even if we don’t agree with each other on a given lifestyle, as portrayed here for instance, we still need far less hate, way more love, and at least enough humanity to interact in a civil, proactive, and productive way that just might see the world change for the better, God willing.

As always, this is all for your consideration and comment.  Until next time, thank you for reading!

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