Director: Michael Arun
Cast: Ajay, Abhinaya, Baby Sathanya, Kishore
At a time when child sex abuse is on the rise in various parts of the country, here is a debutant director Michael Arun who has come out with a film on the sensitive issue and the trauma the victims as well the parents suffer afterwards. Based on a true-life incident that took place in Bengaluru, Arun has also touched upon the issue of loopholes in our legal system pertaining to punishing the abusers, which are paltry.
Set in Bengaluru, the movie revolves around Aadhi (Ajay) who works in a garage and his wife Aadhira (Abhinaya) who runs a grocery shop and their eight-year-old daughter Bhoomi (Sathanya). Theirs is a happy family. On an ill-fated rainy day, while Bhoomi is on her way to school, a drunkard stranger sexually assaults her. As a result, she suffers multiple injuries and has to undergo a major surgery besides fronting the trauma. Even as her parents are shattered and go through the pain and rage, they are forced to get Bhoomi out of the media glare and at the same time seek justice for her.
Though Ajay and Abhinaya have put up a decent performance, one wishes both could have emoted intensively and conveyed the pain in a better manner – especially after they face the hard-hitting incident. Kishore as the police officer investigating the case is adequate. It was Baby Sathanya who gives a startling feat. In a well-written character, which is bold and sensible, the small girl pulls off her transformation from a traumatized victim to getting back to normalcy with effortless ease. There’s a scene which leaves a lump in our throats when the child asks her father innocently, ‘Helping others is good thing, I was taught. I only went to help a man. Then why do people say I made a mistake?’.
Kudos to the director for handling the disturbing subject with lots of sensitivity and not resorting to cinematic liberties. He has also imparted a message on how parents should react and treat the abuse victim in a compassionate manner. Though the film moves at a slow pace, it was never preachy at any point of time. Music and cinematography aid the narration. In the climax, after few trials, the court sentences the criminal only to 14 years in prison, which the parents disapproves and they want him to be hanged. But they are helpless because of the ambiguities in our Indian laws.
There may be a few glitches, but nevertheless, it is an honest attempt from Arun. It sticks to you for a while even after leaving the cinema hall.