Director: Karan Gour
Cast: Rasika Duggal, Alekh Sangal
Many filmmakers find their own space of innovation, get their hands on a rolling camera with no backing of (mainstream) producers and ends up with an independent product. Mostly such films are results of first time director's self indulgence with cinema, their obsession with cinema. And this is where they find major disconnect with the masses. Indie cinemas never serves you slick entertainment that this country is obsessed with. Instead it acts as a mirror reflecting the fact that cinema is an art and not business.
Kshay (Corrode) is one such successful attempt, where technology is no barrier and a digital camera (though too zoomed in at many places) does the resourceful with a B/W template set for the narrative of a tale of extreme obsessions.
Chhaya (Rasika Duggal) is an endeared housewife and has an unusual taste for arts while her husband Arvind (Alekh Sangal) struggles to earn a living. Chhaya finds herself fascinated by an unfinished sculpted idol of Lakshmi, goddess of wealth, that costs Rs. 15,000 and desires to have it at her home. Soon, this desire turns into obsession. She doesn't miss any view of Lakshmi photos in the surroundings that just fuels her obsession. All during this you see a brilliant character development of Chhaya who sometimes envisages the roop of Lakshmi as herself, or even the poor sculptor in a suave image near herself only to offer a solution to meet her extreme obsession which has led her to self-destruction (read corrosion). Her emotions on screen has been depicted very artistically and poetically to set the narrative forward and serve you with food for thought. Very poignant.
Each sequence runs for a time more than seemingly required that you can wonder if this is an extended short-film. But each slack has been filled with a haunting background score and surreal sound design that keeps you engaged and let you squirm under your seat. And with such sequence, each moment on the screen grips you and flashes in your mind even after you've left the auditorium. Be it a SAW like horrifying scene where Chhaya is imagined to cut her hand raw with knife (though this scene doesn't end up being a horror porn like SAW series) or any unkempt thought-pondering scene (it's full of it)!
Amidst the narration, path has been built for multiple cameos. One such is Shruti (Nikita Anand), Chhaya's neighbour who plays the role very calmly and strikes a composing balance between being scared and concern. As the plot is build upon the character of Chhaya, Rasika Duggal manages to do the nuance with one of the best on-screen performance you can see this year. Also Sangal as Arvind is convincing in each scene of his.
You have already been treated with compelling Shanghai and delightful Ferrari Ki Sawaari this month and with Kshay, it's time you stop blowing the sugary chewing gum and get real. Lauds to PVR for supporting Indie Cinema and saving the silver-screen from masala entertainment. Go book your tickets now. You won't regret watching this one.