I do not assume anybody can overlook the night of March 24, 2020 when a nationwide lockdown was introduced for 21 days following the Covid-19 outbreak. Almost three years later, filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar’s movie — India Lockdown — takes you again to these darkish instances, and makes an earnest try and recreate the horrors that everybody felt in numerous methods with the onset of the pandemic. With 4 parallel tales detailing diverse facets of human feelings and dilemmas, the movie would not offer you a lot time to assume in between. Despite being a cinematic recreation of repercussions of the primary and subsequent lockdowns within the nation, India Lockdown retains issues just about actual with out including melodramatic twists and turns.

Everyone turning house cooks, making an attempt new recipes day-after-day, younger {couples} getting stressed not having the ability to exit on dates, lengthy queues outdoors grocery shops, obligatory well being checks and residential quarantine, reluctance to put on masks — Bhandarkar picks on numerous components and narrates their tales with minute particulars. At two hours, the movie is crisp and would not needlessly digress between plots. And absence of any tune or dance sequence is only a bonus.

More than the story and screenplay, the winner in India Lockdown is its casting and nuanced performances from every of the actors. Of all of the tales that the movie touched, my favourites are those about migrants and intercourse employees, and the way adversely their life bought affected whereas coping with naked minimal sources for survival.

The monitor with migrant couple Madhav and Phoolmati (Prateik Babbar and Sai Tamhankar) with two little daughters will break your coronary heart. The havoc that the lockdown triggered to this part of the society is past frequent man’s creativeness. The heartwrenchnig scenes of them strolling miles day-after-day in scorching warmth, typically with out meals and water, will depart a lump in your throat. Babbar emotes his half so properly and he lets the ache his character goes by means of transfer you. There’s a sequence the place Babbar digs right into a pile of rubbish searching for some meals — that’s simply so distressing. Tamhankar, too, may be very robust and convincing in her half.

Prateik Babbar in a nonetheless from India Lockdown.

The story a couple of intercourse employee, Mehrunissa (Shweta Basu Tripathi) in Mumbai’s Kamathupura is a mixture of pleasure and sorrow. Joy to see how these ladies cannot do their job which entails bodily contact but they discover methods to crack a joke at one another, smile and keep completely happy in troublesome instances. Prasad is a revelation and excellent in her efficiency that makes you surprise what sort of prep she did for this position that it appears to be like so easy on display. Her physique language, mannerisms, accent and every little thing is simply on-point and by no means appears to be like out of the place. There are a couple of dialogues, and scenes, which could make some uncomfortable and even cringe, however that is the great thing about Bhandarkar’s movie. He brings you nearer to actuality in essentially the most possible way.

Aahana Kumra as Moon Alves, a industrial pilot, who’s now homebound as a result of all flights are halted would join with all working professionals who simply bought sick of work-from-home association after some extent. Kumra, I felt, went somewhat overboard along with her character when it comes to its look and the best way she talks and behaves. Last story a couple of father, M Nageshwar Rao (Prakash Belawadi) and his pregnant daughter Swathi (Hrishita Bhatt) are caught in numerous cities is cute in its personal means. I loved watching the scenes with Rao as a senior citizen being additional cautious, along with his masks all the time up and residing alone in his home along with his canine.

With India Lockdown, I’m glad that Bhandarkar did not take the preachy route of giving us ethical classes by means of his movie, as a substitute he captures the essence of those human tales which is essentially the most relatable side of the movie. Celebrating getting a unfavorable Covid report, dressing up at house with nowhere to go, video calls changing into a lifestyle and ‘new regular’ making its place in everybody’s lives – India Lockdown has a chunk of all of us. I undoubtedly hope (and wish) that Bhandarkar comes out with a sequel to this movie, detailing the horrors of second wave of Covid that claimed a number of lives and the complete healthcare system of the nation was in shambles. Until then, watch this and keep in mind the way you adjusted to the brand new regular.

Cast: Shweta Basu Prasad, Prateik Babbar, Aahana Kumra, Sai Tamhankar, Prakash Belawadi

Director: Madhur Bhandarkar

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