Of social alienation and the city

Of social alienation and the city
Indpendent filmmakers of today see the world through the kaleidoscope of society. They want to bring alive the issues that effect daily life. It is all about taking a back seat and watching reality unfurl right in front of you. A back to back movie screening at the Indian Habitat Centre, on 27 May was a slice of that philosophy. The movies, Virus and Priceless each had a different take on life and reality and we witness it.

Virus is the story of a young man, hard pressed for money. He indulges in a road rage brawl which triggers a chain of events. In this series of events how each one leads him further into another engulfing and tragically affecting the lives of those who get involved. Plunging deeper into the depths of urban life and a man's desire to control his destiny, it tells a story of alienation, loneliness, of deceit and abuse. The name
keeps reminding that it is about alienation and abandonment of people.

A constant struggle of a man's desire to control his fate which is at odds with the mysterious ways of nature. The simple moral of the story leaves you gasping how hate spreads and loneliness kills.

Priceless is about a street child's blind date with high society. From the traffic signal to a posh house, he is bathed, fed and finally dressed as a clown and and presented as a birthday gift for someone's mistress. This 10 minute movie brings out the gory reality of erosion of human values set in the backdrop of a glitzy urban life.

These films were directed by Sunit Sinha, a theatre artist and independent filmmaker. He has been acting, writing and directing for the stage for the last 23 years. 'The idea for the film, Virus, sprang from my personal growing aggression, and the feeling of isolation in a big city,' said Sinha. He feels that one is cut off and the experience of loss of identity in the community of an anonymous crowd. It has great relevance for every one especially the city dwellers who experience an alienation in the hustle-bustle of the city life.

'Art and culture, and many other things, constantly find themselves in a crowd of unfamiliar people, clustered on a relatively small area giving rise to a feeling of alienation,' said Sinha.

Life in a city, inhabited by people chasing the idea of a secure life and thus hoarding material wealth, moving at a nerve-racking pace leaving no time to stop and 'smell the roses'. It is in this context that Sinha placed his movie

He says that hundreds of people everyday go about their lives rushing in different directions and colliding with each other, violating individual privacy every moment. In a fast-growing consumerist society, it is easy to see how people easily suffer from 'social anxiety'.

'You work in a job you hate, buy stuff that you don't need, impress people that you don't like...' These lines are excerpts from the movie which resounds the hollowness of the urban life, a chaotic rumination of distortion.

The inability to achieve our desires in conjunction with the social rank was purely captured in its essence. It is an honest expression of the issues that we deal with in our day to day lives. The fast-paced life and an individuals fight to achieve his desires were brought out in a dramatic way.

So if you want to see the realities of your city and the hollowness of the urban lives, this movie is a must watch.
Lina Pegu

Lina Pegu

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