TL;DR – It filled with the mixed emotions that come with tracing your past a world full of nostalgia and pain.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Your past can be something filled with joy or tinged with regret. We dream of the past but sometimes forget the effect it has on our present and future. This is especially true when it comes to the issues around a parent’s separation because it adds a whole other layer of issues with how we interpret the past. Today we look at a film that interprets all of this through the lens of Indian performance art.
So to set the scene, we open on Kris (Christopher Gurusamy) making a long journey from the city to a complex deep in the jungle. This is where he spent most of his childhood growing up in a musical collective who put on performances based on Indian mythology and Hindu Religious epics. There is also a little trepidation for Kris as this is also a place of great pain for him. He is soon spotted by Valli (Sudharma Vaithiyanathan) who he uses to play with as a child and he asks the first of many pertinent questions “Where is my dad” but Jon (Jeremy Roske) likes to travel around India so while he is not here, though he should return. So Kris decides to wait at the compound for his father’s return and dredges up the memories of the past.
One of the things I really liked about the film is
how it starts as a sort of disjointed narrative, jumping back and forward
between the present and the past. However, it is not confusing, more like a puzzle
that is slowly filled in as we see the motivations and connections between the different
people. Like for example, it becomes quite understandable as to why Kris is
looking for Jon rather than his mother
Clara (Julia Koch) and what the seeds for that particular break up was.
Another key aspect of the film is its relationship with the stories of India’s past and how they impact on the present. There is this undercurrent of reinterpreting the traditional stories in a new light which I found fascinating. As well as this, we get these hints as to how the stories have crossed over with Kris’ story and those of the people around him. You don’t need to be completely fluent with the mythological stories they are referencing as the film does a good job of giving you a clear understanding of the basics of each story. It is clear that even though the film is in Hindi, Tamil, Sanskrit, and English, that there was care to make sure it was assessable to people that might not be familiar with the concepts being discussed.
though His Father’s Voice does fit
into that comfortable style of Indian cinema where everything is kept at a
certain distance it does still have moments that stand out. Some of these
moments are the musical performances throughout the film as they explore every facet
of the story. Some of these moments come from using the Indian countryside as a
perfect setting for the film and also in the history the film explores.
In the end, do we recommend His Father’s Voice? Yes, we do. It is not a film that is going to be any great revelation, but it is a really beautiful story at times and ends on a high note.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of His Father’s Voice
Directed by – K. Kaarthikeyan
Story by – K. Kaarthikeyan
Music by – Vedanth Bharadwaj
Cinematography by – K. Kaarthikeyan
Edited by – Keerthana Murali & Shaurya Pratap Singh
Production/Distribution Companies – Kaavadi Productioins & Indie Rights
Starring – Ashwini Pratap Pawar, Christopher Gurusamy, Sudharma Vaithiyanathan, Jeremy Roske, Asha Bhola, Narendran Pangathody, Julia Koch, Sadana Sadassivam, CB Ramkumar, Tzur Yardeni & Yam Yardeni
Rating – Australia: Around a PG level