Monday, February 24, 2014

A Philosophical Sojourn

SHIP OF THESEUS (2012)

Produced By: Recyclewala Films
Director: Anand Gandhi
Starring: Aida Elkashef, Sohum Shah, Neeraj Kabi, Vinay Shukla and others
Pros: Deep thought put into every story, smart use of comic relief
Cons: Gets slow at times
Rating: **** of 5 (4 of 5)

The Theseus paradox goes such: if the planks of a ship are changed one by one until none of the planks are the same as the original, then does the ship remain the same ship? This Greek philosophical question makes for an interesting thought when seen beyond the literal and with Ship of Theseus, Anand Gandhi explores that through narrative.

The movie explores the paradox through three lives, all with the common theme of changing one part of the protagonist's body and their reaction to it. A lot of thought has gone into every story and a variety of viewers can relate to it: from the working class to the rich. The stories are simple and yet complex: they tell the tales of simple people with difficult stories. This is not a fast-paced, masala film that requires you to leave your brain at home - it requires you to think and to connect. And perhaps, this is where the movie really meets its downfall: it expects too much of its audience.

Now, the director seems to be aware that too many long moments of silence or grief can leave the audience numb and hence, he puts in comic relief every now and then, which does wake up the audience. And that shows that it was meant to be a movie and not a monologue. And yet, the director seems to have forgotten this lesson once in a while, when the movie really slows down and leaves you wishing that it would just end.

The acting was splendid with emotion being conveyed quite well, which is critical for a movie that requires the audience to connect with the characters. Overall, an excellent movie, not exactly for light-hearted moments, but certainly good if you don't mind watching with your brain on. (OTFS)

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