- Review: Killa (2015)
- Director: Avinash Arun
- Producers:Essel Vision, M R Filmworks and Jar Pictures
- Writers:Tusshaar Paranjape and Upendra Sindhaye
- Cast: Archit Deodhar, Amruta Subhash, Parth Bhalerao
- Music: Naren Chandavakar and Benedict Taylor
- Genre: Drama
- Review By : Keyur Seta
Over the last few years, Marathi cinema has seen some truly well-made rural films revolving around a child or children. Some of the noteworthy examples are Vihir, Shala, Fandry, Elizabeth Ekadashi, Salaam, Dhag, Jana Gana Mana, etc.
But it would be unfair to say that Avinash Arun’s Killa is yet another well-made film of this genre. That won’t do justice to its achievement. To put it simply, the film is a heartwarming coming-of-age saga that achieves excellence in every department. It is yet another Marathi film of international caliber.
Killa revolves around Chinmay Kale (Archit Deodhar), a student in the seventh standard. He is forced to migrate to a village in the Konkan area from his hometown Pune after his mother (Amruta Subhash), an uprightly honest government employee, is transferred there. He stays alone with his mother ever since his father passed away few years back.
Chinmay is depressed as he dearly misses Pune and his cousin cum best friend. He finds it difficult to fit into his new school because of the mischievous group of students, led by the notorious Bandya (Parth Bhalerao). But slowly Chinmay starts getting acceptance among the kids. What happens next forms the rest of the film.
Like various films of this genre, Killa doesn’t follow a conventional storyline. It is more of a peak into the life of Chinmay. So, instead of story development, the intention is to put forth Chinmay’s experiences, joys, inner-turmoil, and confusion. Arun fulfills this aim in a masterly manner, which ensures that anybody with a heart will be moved by the characters and their situations.
Needless to say, you get involved into the everyday life of Chinmay and others in a way that you tend to forget the outside world and you don’t feel like believing that they aren’t real life characters. Incidents like masti in school, funny incidents between friends, exam scenes and the small outings are sure to make you nostalgic. This is another triumph of the filmmaker and that too in his very first film. He has provided a perfect example of narrating through visuals, especially during the climax.
Of course, the narration has its share of sad moments but it steers clear from treading on the depressing path. In the midst of such positives, the only negative aspect is that the pace drops slightly on few occasions. But this is not a big issue here.
The skillful camerawork, also by Avinash Arun, is a major reason for the final product turning out to be of international standards. He has shown his skills even in the most mundane situations. Plus, the beauty of the interiors of Konkan region just doesn’t cease to amaze you. Naren Chandavarkar and Benedict Taylor’s tunes add to the emotions.
Archit Deodhar is simply outstanding as Chinmay. He switches over to different emotions with remarkable ease and also manages to speak through expressions on many occasions. Amruta Subhash once again proves she is one of the finest actors around through a mature act.
But Parth Bhalerao is simply the scene-stealer with his brilliant comic timing, cuteness and acting skills. He was well-appreciated last year in Bhoothnath Returns. The film also has some earnest performances from the rest of the kids, the actor playing Maths teacher and other actors.
Killa is an excellent effort! It’s a triumph of mature storytelling. The film has received National Awards for the Best Feature Film in Marathi and Special Mention (Parth Bhalerao) Award along with other international awards. The strong word-of-mouth will ensure good returns for it.