Without revealing much, It’s a story of man suffering from guilt of his past sin. A sin he had committed 3 years ago and since then been on a journey of repentance.
Beautifully, portrayed by a very talented actor, Tushar Barmaiya, the protagonist’s character is to say the least, very heart-wrenching.
Since this was a low-budget, independent film, the challenges of executing such projects are manifold. On top of it, part of it involved guerilla shoot.
But the producers had done their best to not compromise on the content. Whatever needed to be arranged was taken care of. The Entire crew was so inspired by the project, they all chipped in. Actors brought in their own costumes. Executive Producer Virendra Rathore, himself arranged the props, some of which I suspect he got it from his home. The cinematographers and other technical crews joined while still attending their day jobs.
Bottom-line is everyone did everything to ensure, the film was executed the way it was supposed to be.
So, there was no point at which I as the film’s director had to compromise on. Yet, when I took the decision of making Tushar, the protagonist, to wear the same costume at the time of committing the sin, it baffled the team.
Questions rose – Is he wearing just one dress for 3 long years? Wouldn’t he change clothes? Do we need to do it this way, especially when production team had arranged for it?
But for me, the sin that he had committed and the self-exile he imposed on himself immediately after it, was too big to let the character any scope to pack clothes before he leaves the city. When we see him after 3 long years, he’s clearly a man who has not taken care of himself. His appearance and his mannerisms during the exile was proof enough.
It was clear to me that the character had not packed clothes for some leisure travel. He was going on an exile. He wouldn’t bother.
Then the team asked me the very intelligent question, which I had not addressed in my explanation – “Why was he carrying a suitcase then?”
It was the last day of the shoot and we were already behind schedule. I realized I wouldn’t be able to convince everyone so had to just use the director’s veto card – “I want it this way”.
Respectfully, everyone obliged. But I sensed, the uneasiness that comes with the lingerings question that has gone unanswered.
So, here’s my answer.
This is not a commercial film, rather a concept film. The writer had taken painstaking efforts to structure the story in a certain way. Ensured, the narrative to have a certain flow. It was a story of an individual’s guilt and the way one handles it.
Three years ago, the hero had committed a horrifying act, and he was still punishing himself for that one sin. He imposes himself on an exile. He ignores his own well-being and intentionally accepts the suffering of his new life. He leaves behind his wealth, his name, his reputation, his lifestyle everything and lives a life of anonymity.
Such a person, is surely not going to pack clothes. But then, why is he carrying the briefcase? And what’s in it?
To be honest, am not sure! Perhaps the writer would know better.
But to me….
The suitcase contained things that he didn’t wanted to forget. It could be items that reminded him of his life before the exile. Something that he still wanted to remember. Something that convinces him, that what he did was not a crime but a sin.
In simple words, the suitcase was carrying the memories of his twisted love and proofs of his horrifying sin.
Metaphorically, the hero was not carrying a suitcase. He was dragging along, his emotional baggage. Baggage of his lost love, the haunting sin and the unbearable regrets that followed after.
Now, whether this pans out in the film’s favor, only time will tell. But, I feel convinced with this aspect of my Hero’s personality.
The film is currently in post-production stage. Hope we will be able to release it soon to all the top-tier festivals. Till then, *fingerscrossed*