Sandcastle, English indian Film Movie review, Johnson Thomas, Rating: * * *

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English Film review
Johnson Thomas
Film: Sandcastle: Meatier and more liberating than ‘Queen’
Director: Shom Shukla

Rating: *  *  *         

Runtime: 83 min  Genre: Family Drama

This film is about women- who break out of their cocoon in the search for self-realisation. The central story is about a rebel who raises a gauntlet against societal pressure and establishes her own place in society.

The script and story by Shomshukla Das, making her debut also as a filmmaker here, is realistic and invested with characters we can relate to. There’s nothing novella about it of course but first-time director Das manages to establish a sensitivity and understanding that is touching.

Sandcastle is about a housewife who wants more from her life. She may not have much of a career but whatever it is, she wants to make the best of it. But her husband is not supportive enough. The film tries to question the boundaries that heckle women in society. The treatment is spare and has a docu-drama feel to tit. Not much of a drama but more of a character study that showcases the metamorphosis of a moth to a butterfly.
The  narrative is centered on two contemporary female characters. The central one though , is Sheila. Sheila, (Shahana Chatterjee) whose upper middle-class life in India isn’t as perfect as she hoped it would be. Sheila is a home-maker, an aspiring writer and loving mother. From an outsiders perspective it would seem like she has the perfect life. Her husband is a wealthy advertising maverick and she is part of the elite middle-class.
But Sheila, though fulfilled in some part from her experiences as homemaker, wife and mother , wants more from life. She has her own dreams, dormant till now and she has to break barriers and jump over boundaries before she can come close to achieving self-realisation.
The treatment is a little slow and unexciting. The pace is dreary. The conflicts are layered but they don't have clarifying definition. The cinematography by Ritam Banerjee makes the journey to self realization a richer experience.  The performances are nuanced and lends realistic zeal to the underwhelming engagement. What is satisfying though, is that the lead character goes through a much meatier transformation than the one assayed in the much touted ‘Queen.’ And therefore is far more fulfilling and sincere!


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