KANIKA

Directed by Pushkar Manohar  | Review by Arindam Bhunia

One film three different emotions! Started watching the film with a thrill of horror; emotional suffering in the middle and ended with a satisfactory smile. Female infanticide is not an unfamiliar topic today but such outlandish and offbeat storyline makes this award winning film a divergent. Today also when they are born, girl child have to face constant discrimination even in educated, ‘liberal’ families where the male heir is automatically given preferential treatment and when they grow up they face perverse prejudices, unspeakable harassment and unchecked abuse from a civilisation that seems to think women are prey to every form of unwanted attention. Director Pushkar Manohar gives us a heartfelt film but one in which you run the entire gamut of emotions — joy, tears, excitement, and ebullience.

The story begins with some strange and mysterious incidents which happen with renowned Paediatric specialist Dr. Koushik Pradhan. A ghost of a dead little girl haunts not only Dr. Pradhan but also some of his colleagues. But one of his colleague’s mysterious death let the cat out of the bag. Bit by bit Dr. Pradhan and his friend come to know that the poor child is none other than a victim of their inhumanity and barbarity. Few years ago for a certain amount of money, Dr. Pradhan himself was responsible for the death of the little girl Kanika. Gradually Doctor’s abnormal behaviour pretends his mental sickness and lastly, his family admits him in an asylum.

To achieve the right amount of credibility, the casting was very crucial. And well, no one disappoints. Each actor has made such a fair play to their character that one can easily connect especially the character of Kanika’s mother was unparallel and obviously the little girl as Kanika is very adorable. The actor who plays Dr. Kausik Pradhan is excellent in his role. His performance is incredibly heartfelt and intense, and it’s memorable more because most of it is internal and non-verbal. His devastated expression of anguish and grief is haunting.  Sound design and editing of the whole film are superb. In the horror sequences, cinematographer’s eye for detail is outstanding as he romances the camera with imaginative angles and lighting.

The world is zooming ahead in all fields that count at break neck speed. The boom in the economy, innovative technologies, and improved infrastructure are the testament to that. Even after the witnessed advancements in the country, violence against girl child is still practiced. It has made its root so deep which is creating a problem in getting out completely from the society. Violence again girl child is the very dangerous social evil. The reason of female foeticide is the technological improvement in the country such as ultrasound, sex determination tests, scan tests and amniocentesis, detect genetic abnormalities, and all such technologies have given way to various rich, poor and middle class families to detect the sex of a fetus and abort in case of a girl baby.

As Newton’s Third Law of Motion states, ‘For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction’, the after-effects of this genocide are fatal and far-reaching. Blinded by the need for an assertive gender to rule the house after the parents’ demise, the majority are often ignorant of the disaster which people unwittingly invite by indulging in female feticide. I really salute director Pushkar Manohar to choose such a paramount topic.

 

Cult Critic: Arindam BhuniaArindam Bhunia is a marketing manager in an MNC with more than eight years of work experience in electrical field. Apart from his corporate job, he has interest in cultural activities so he joined Human Lab Corporation as Chief Executive Officer. He oversees strategic planning for film, television and video game production, marketing and distribution for the company’s business verticals worldwide. He is also responsible for overseeing finance, legal, labour relations, technology and HLC Studio operations.