15 September 2013

Film Review: John Day

"A teenaged couple arrive in a wooded estate somewhere outside Bombay. There seems to be no-one else around. They sit around in a bamboo hut, strumming a guitar and talking. Then they go for a swim in the lake. The girl swims for some time, then says she’s tired and returns to the room for a shower. Before she takes off her wet T-shirt, she closes the bamboo door, and we see no more of her. Cut to a cemetery, where a priest intones gravely from the Bible, and a middle-aged man and his wife bite back tears as they surrender their young daughter’s body to the earth. 

When the film picks up next, it is two years later. The husband and wife are still grieving for their daughter. The wife is still punishing herself for having let the daughter go away that weekend, the husband is still trying to console her. He accepts an old friend’s invitation to a party, and leaves for work, affectionately telling his wife to wear a nice dress for the evening — “red colour or something”. She smiles wanly. Life is not the same, but they might just begin to move on. 

But within the next few minutes, everything has changed. 

Ahishor Solomon’s directorial debut shows promise, managing to establish an atmosphere of unmitigated menace in a tightly-constructed film shorn of songs, fillers or ‘light’ moments. Solomon’s previous experience includes working as assistant director on the Ram Gopal Varma production Darna Zaroori Hai (2006) and Bhatt camp outings like Rog (2005) and Paap (2003), but John Day, produced by the people who produced Wednesday, is a step up from these: grittier, and less exploitative — the camera doesn’t linger on the young woman as she strips for a shower."

This review continues... 

Read the whole review on the Firstpost site, here.

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