Like the interdependency of order and chaos, or life and loss of life, Sumitra Bhave’s Dithee delights you with a soulful story of mourning and celebration abruptly.
For the longest time, you suppose Dithee is a movie about loss of life. Quite instantly, although, it turns into an image about life, in regards to the myriad glories of its very existence.
And then, it dawns on you. The two at all times go hand in hand, life and loss of life. One can not exist with out the opposite. Sumitra Bhave’s farewell reward, to anybody who watches her ultimate work, is solely a momentary look at a elementary fact. Dithee means ‘seeing’. Perhaps the title of the movie refers to that singular second of readability the central character Ramji has, whereas coping with excessive grief.
Ramji is a grand outdated fellow, and a religious follower of the Warkari religion. For the final 30 years, he has unfailingly participated within the Wari, the annual pilgrimage of the trustworthy to Pandharpur. He’s the type of individual buddies flip to for recommendation or solace, and he’s by no means in need of knowledge to assuage them, often dipping into his huge reservoir of religion and scripture to dish out a quotable Sant Dnyaneshwar quote or two. So, he can not fathom why life has turned on him in such a merciless method – his younger son, a married man, has drowned in an overflowing river, drifting away to oblivion simply because the younger man’s spouse gave delivery to their little one.
There’s an apparent resolution to Ramji’s crushing state of affairs proper in entrance of him. His new child grandchild, who’s already destined to stay a life with out even being seen by his father, deserves all the eye doable. Yet, Ramji is unable to see it. He goes numb, utterly unable to course of this horrible coincidence. Instead, he flashes again to moments of his life, discovering solely questions as a substitute of closure – questions in regards to the worth of his lifetime of worship, and in regards to the very that means of existence.
Dithee is about one specific incident on one specific evening quickly after Ramji’s crippling loss, an all-encompassing second wherein life units him proper after rudely shaking him up. It is an easy, elegant movie; flush with symbolism and anchored by some terrific performances. It may look like a well timed movie, given its launch so near the filmmaker’s passing, whereas we’re additionally in some way collectively residing via a time of inexplicable, unimaginable loss. (The movie was, in truth, accomplished in 2019. Most will solely get to see it now, with its streaming launch on Sony LIV.)
There have been some excellent Indian motion pictures about bereavement in current instances – movies that centre round one specific loss of life after which discover a number of of the numerous little impacts the lack of each human life has; or at the very least, should have. Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Ee. Ma. Yau. and Raam Reddy’s Thithi immediately come to thoughts. Like them, Dithee can be set within the invisible India (the one which we’re studying extra about lately, albeit via the blurry veil of ‘unofficial’ numbers).
Yet, Dithee can be fairly totally different from these two movies. It is much more poetic; its tackle the paradoxical duality and singularity of life and loss of life extra philosophically fanciful than the sensible, darkly comedian moorings of Thithi and Ee. Ma. Yau. The movie doesn’t delve into too many layers, just because its central thought is as fundamental and but as profound as one can hope to get. It simply so occurs that the majority of us don’t have the countenance to immediately view life and loss of life as inevitable, notably so quickly after one has simply misplaced somebody they love.
This is a movie that Sumitra Bhave tried to make for years, regardless of all of her stature and renown as a storyteller. When she lastly bought to make it, her first solo directorial, she commanded a bevvy of inventive forces, beginning with selecting to adapt a brief story by famous Marathi creator DB Mokashi. Cinematographer Dhananjay Kulkarni is among the most vital contributors to the movie, crafting some wealthy, pleasant frames. And then, in fact, there’s that loaded ensemble solid, led by Kishore Kadam as Ramji, with Dilip Prabhavalkar, Dr Mohan Agashe, Girish Kulkarni and Amruta Subhash in excellent supporting roles as numerous buddies and acquaintances in Ramji’s village.
It’s raining nearly all through in Dithee. The fixed patter of rain on the surface and the characters constricted indoors provides to the gloom within the air. The solar shines via solely in the long run when issues lastly lookup. This is among the apparent stuff. There are additionally some really masterful scenes that unexpectedly hit you within the intestine with dwelling truths. The movie reminds you that each loss of life and shifting on are non-negotiable. And it does so with the gentlest contact of levity you could possibly think about whereas its characters are wading via what looks like an ocean of grief. Like the interdependency of order and chaos, or life and loss of life, Sumitra Bhave’s Dithee delights you with a soulful story of mourning and celebration abruptly.
Dithee streams on Sony LIV.