Anurag Kashyap brings demonetisation to the screen with Netflix’s Chokd for the first time, and does not romanticize each other.
A suburban house in Mumbai, most describes it as a pigeon and you can never tell if it is a word, as dear or other, where nothing is particularly right. Seems, yet everything works, just enough to roll the next day, a plumbing problem. Seepage, damp walls and the thundering sound echoing through those metal pipes is a hindrance. One night, around 3 pm, things get particularly bad. Sarita (Syami Kher) washes the pipe under her kitchen sink, and pours dirty sewerage water into her kitchen floor. Along with small rolls of cash wrapped in plastic bags. Who would have thought?
Saiyami’s character Sarita is married to Sushant, played by Roshan Mathew. They have a son. The family of three is strange by society’s standards. Sushant is a stay-at-home husband, not by choice, but because he cannot do a job. He wants to become a musician but does not really want to go through a period of struggle, which everyone has to make in the industry. Sarita is a Star Bank employee. But she wanted to be a singer, until she came on stage during a performance and the fear kept confusing her. Sarita and Sushant’s relationship also ended that day, they do not hate each other, it seems that Prem made room for atta-daal-chawl-vegetable. Money was Mogambo in his life, as it is with thousands of other middle-class couples in India.
That night, those zip-lock wrapped rolls of cash changed something. Pisa speaks after all. Sarita said, “What is this, I was shocked to fear that if I get caught, for fear of that, count my blessings by folding my hands in front of the idol in the kitchen.” And then on 8 November 2016 at 8 in the evening, all that changed. PM Narendra Modi made a demonetization speech
Anurag Kashyap’s brawl suddenly changes from here, much like it happened in the country on the morning of 9 November. The housemates were divided – Sushant is happy that Deen is finally here, and Sarita looks on in disbelief, a group of believers dance and mohalla at Meera, while Sarita’s neighbor wonders how she is going to pay the caterer. Have you put henna People queue outside the bank to exchange their currency notes – one clicks a selfie with a new note, the other says, ‘I’m old, how will I come every day, please help me .
Memories of demonetisation are far from fresh in our heads.
But Brutus is an honorable man, Anurag Kashyap will tell you. And you make up your mind.
Sayami is superb as Sarita. Her deep eyes, sometimes a jaundice pale under the light, as she tells about her daily chores, haunt you even after watching a 1 hour-54 minute film. Roshan is equally effective as Sushant, you hate not getting under your throne and getting a job. We truly did. Amrita Subhash is unique as a neighbor, at one point you will think that you have met her with a local vegetable.
Yet in all of this, Anurag Kashyap remains the master puppet, never loosening his tight grip on the characters or the story. Paisa bolta hai, and Anurag describe it as the horror story of the performance. The real everyday problem had to grapple with the general public, how black marketers made profits with their 1,000-mein-600 plans, with Anurag consolidating just enough that we saw the news in a compact, crisp, tight film is. It needs to be added here, that this time in a technologically advanced film – Netflix’s freedom to budget probably showed it. The CGI effect, whichever is less, is excellent.
Sliced ends on a note that you probably won’t see coming. If we want to call it ‘happy’ or ‘fantasy’, it is up to us to explain it. The author will follow along later.