The most beautiful thing about Chauranga is that it disturbs you. In an industry where entertainment means only tickling you, where engagement only means turning you on, one must be reminded that it is also the job of art to disturb.

Each scene in Chauranga has the ability to disturb you, to evoke an eerie feeling, dread, fear, to make you ill at ease.

At the surface it’s all seemingly just about two boys living their lives. A film that can make you feel the constant pressure, dread, unfairness and suffocation that a Dalit lives with, this is Chauranga. A story about two Dalit boys, brothers to a Dalit mother who live their pubescent lives out in a village; the film takes you on a ride at its own pace. It remains unhurried, and even when you really want it to, it doesn’t leave you. It reminded me of the crocodile that took the monkey into the middle of the river and then began to go underwater slowly. The film takes your hand and takes you into the middle of the river. And then begins to submerge with you on it. And you will go down, and feel like you’re drowning.

With certain portions chopped off, as I saw it in Singapore, I lost a part of the power of the film. But I’m glad I watched it nonetheless on the big screen and didn’t miss it. There were two Singaporeans also in the audience and at the end of the screening they spoke amongst themselves about Caste politics in India. Instead of only what our PM does and what is pushed far and wide on international news. To me, that is the power of a film. To kill the adverse effects of popular media and news.

Kudos to the team behind it.


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