Film Review: Vihir, the well

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Vihir, The Well

Vihir, the well, is a masterpiece by director Umesh Kulkarni. Being his second film, Vihir reflects the changing attitude of the new generation of film makers to make movies that go against mainstream cinema. The movie is produced by AB Corporation limited.

The story begins with two cousins, Sameer and Nachiket, exchanging letters with each other. This establishes the background of both the characters. A marriage is about to take place in the family and the brothers are enthusiastic to be united. The setting conveys a middles class vibe that aptly suits the plot. As the story progresses, we witness that the household is shackled by a patriarchal society. The women are shown doing all the household chores while the men vile away their time in inebriated states. Nachiket, the elder brother, is a rebel. He questions the way society functions, philosophises our daily actions and is infinitely bewildered by the universe. Nachiket plans to run away and live his life according to his will. He has a great impact on Sameer who didn’t seem to understand the importance of Nachiket’s thoughts then.

Cinematographer, Sudhir Phanse, does an outstanding job. The audience is overwhelmed by the way the plot is showcased. The background score is in total sync with the screenplay and delights the viewer, at places.  The direction is innovative and technically correct.

Symbolism marks the most crucial turns of the plot. Sameer’s silence on Nachiket’s disappearance is almost deafening. The mental agony is effectively portrayed. The family’s desperation to get Nachiket back by playing hide and seek raises an upheaval in the viewer’s mind. Sameer’s disbelief and sorrow are almost horrifying.

Colours play an important role throughout the film.  The editing could have been crisper during the night sequences where the shots seem to be too brightly lit. The contrasts of joy and grief are effectively portrayed through skilful editing.

The actors deserve a standing ovation. From the youngest sibling to the oldest lunatic granny, everyone in the film played their characters beautifully. A special mention should be given to the actor who placed Sameer’s character.  Not only did the character mature through the length of the film but also did the audience along with him

Last but not the least, Girish Kulkarni, the writer, exceeds himself yet again. The story deals with not only socially valid issues but also questions our existence as such. It explores the unfathomable. The metaphysical qualities attributed to the characters along with relatable idiosyncrasies connect with the audience and we are faced with the same dilemma as the protagonist himself.

Vihir, the well, is a well-crafted and a delicately presented movie that apart from touching the audience’s heart, poses questions that make them halt and think about their lives.

Source: Film Review

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