Coming-of-Age genre has always been one of my favourites and I have enjoyed lot of movies of this category. Thankfully our Indian Cinema has done considerably well making some really decent Coming-of-Age movies in the recent past specifically in the children category namely Taare Zameen Par, Udaan, Gippi, Gattu and Rockford amongst others.
And the movie Killa is another wonderful movie. It is the story of Chinmay who is 11, has a thick mop of hair that is parted neatly on the side suggesting he is an obedient son and a well-disciplined student which he clearly is.
His father died the previous year from an illness that left him unable to recognise his family towards the end. Chinamy has moved to a Konkan town from Pune with his mother Aruna, a government official who got transferred. The young mother and her try their best to cope with this relocation in their own different ways. She tried to blend in with the sarkari set-up, while Chinmay, being at an impressionable age of eleven, experiments with writing abuses on the school toilet’s walls, cheating during examinations and his new friendships with a group of rowdy boys.
The debutant director Avinash Arun has done a simply fabulous job of ensuring the movie maintains the emotional balance and never goes overboard with an outpouring of grief or tears. He has handled the issues of grief, friendships, separation, corruption and displacement very deftly indeed. No wonder Killa won the Crystal Bear by the Children’s Jury in the Generation KPlus Selection at the Berlin Film Festival in 2014 and the National Award for best Marathi Film this year.
The idea for Killa came to Avinash Arun when was in the FTII and his father kept having to be transferred from job to job. Arun was having a difficult time finding work as a cinematographer, so he decided to pitch his idea to a fellow student Tushar Paranjape, who ended up turning it into a full script. (Text taken from Wikipedia). The cycle race is taken from an actual incident of Avinash’s life!
You can check out the trailer here:
The movie has been shot in the picturesque Konkan region during monsoons and you can feel the greenery and moist weather throughout during almost the scenes; while it is pouring cats or dogs almost every night, when 2 kids fish sitting on a bridge or when the kids visit the fort! Avinash is the cinematographer as well and he has done a simply brilliant job. I loved the way the fort and the cycle race scenes have been picturized.
Killa has been shot at Guhagar, the Vijaydurg fort, and Ganpatipule; I would love to visit these places one day specially the Vijaydurg fort which is one of the biggest forts of the region. I traversed this route on The Mighty One during my West Coast Ride in January 2009 but sadly these locations weren’t part of our itinerary. We had camped overnight at the nearby town of Khed near Chiplun though!
Archit Deodhar has done a simply fabulous job of playing the confused yet confident kid battling his adolescence, loss of a parent and the challenges of adjusting at a new place brilliantly. The other kids Parth Bhalerao (Chinmay), Gaurish Gawade (Yuvraj) and Atharva Upasni (Omkar) have given superb performances too. I also loved the role of Amruta Subhash who plays Chinmay’s mother. The character of Parth is my favourite as he is the perpetual mischief maker and his facial expressions are way too awesome and the way he calls out other kids is hilarious to boot!
I was a similar kind of kid playing pranks on fellow students, troubling my teachers and at times my parents as well so I could easily relate to the antics of these group of kids!
I had tears in my eyes when the movie ends but it quickly turned into a subtle smile by the time thee end credits started to roll! I would not explain why as it would spoil your viewing experience!
Please go and watch this movie; it is currently showing in multiple theatres with English Subtitles.
I hope more such movies are made and we get to experience such brilliance on a more frequent basis. And more power to entities like Indian indie production company JAR Pictures which funds independent cinema from up-and-coming directors and decided to greenlight the Killa project.
So till the time we meet again…
Cheers to life…
Till then ride safe and have safe sex…
Hasta la Victoria Siempre…