Rukh is a demanding film and needs dedicated watching. It is a film to go for only if you are willing to emotionally invest in it.
Rating: 3 / 5
The film starts with a stilted and tense conversation between Nandini and Diwakar, a middle-aged, middle-class couple. Later that night Diwakar dies in a car crash.
It’s at the hospital that we meet his son Dhruv who was away in a hostel. Mother and son are plunged into deep grief. However, Dhruv starts realising that things are very different than what had appeared to be when his father was alive. His mother has shifted in with his grandmother and it’s been months since.
Diwakar’s partner and associates have a meeting. The partner has been involved in some major frauds and now wants to pin all the blame on Diwakar, who cannot defend himself. While one of them sees the opportunity to get something out of it, the other colleagues refuse to malign a good man after his death.
Dhruv starts noticing things, especially those that his mother seems intent on hiding. He starts snooping around. He wants to meet the driver of the truck which had crashed into Diwakar’s car. He even manages to get a hold of a gun without bullets (which his friend’s boss uses to scare people with).
He is restless and he wants answers. As he starts inching towards the truth, Dhruv encounters more questions. His mother instructs him to drop his detective drive and accept his father’s death as an accident. He goes on doggedly and finds himself in what could be dangerous situation. We learn soon that the mother has known the truth all along. Though totally expected all the pieces of Rukh start fitting in now.
Parallel to Dhruv’s pursuit of mystery is a haunting school incident. He seeks to make peace with someone he had hurt. Finally, forgiveness, acceptance and a path to walk past all that shows up. Some hope surfaces despite the huge losses. That’s what Rukh offers.
Excellent performances despite how subtle and nuanced the emotions are. Death, gloom and grief loom large. Rukh is extremely slow paced, sometimes agonizingly so. Agonizing not because it is boring but because you are then forced to hear the inanimate, still objects evoke.
This is a demanding film and needs dedicated watching. This is not a film where you can engage with those who accompany you at all. Instead, you will confront of your own losses and subsequent loneliness of the experience. If you are fond of literature, it will remind of Marquez and Nirmal Verma. These writers are read with caution for how they evoke the dark and hidden places in your heart.
Yes, Rukh is “arty” and not a fun or breezy watch. This is a film that you go for only if you are willing to invest emotionally in it. I’d give it a cautious 3-star rating.
Cast and credits for Rukh
Cast: Manoj Vajpayee, Smita Tambe, Adarsh Gaurav, Kumud Mishra
Written by Atanu Mukherjee, Akash Mohimen
Dialogue by Vasan Bala
Directed by Atanu Mukherjee
– Film reviewed by Nandini Arora
Nandini Arora is a TV writer by profession, having contributed to many a masala saas-bahu shows. She seeks masala in her real life too, sometimes by unashamed gossip, delectable food and in books. She loves movies and discussing them even more, over a cup of elaichi chai!
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