This is the start of a bumper weekend, yes it has ringed in on Thursday, a day early where you will get to read reviews of as many as 10 new releases. So lets dig into the first one. It has been exactly 1 year since India had to undergo a lockdown. It was late on 24th March 2020 that our Honourable PM had announced a nationwide lockdown in the wake of the then newly established pandemic Covid-19. And so we had to be locked in our homes and that is when the concept of work from home began too. But there are a larger crisis looming, that of the migrants returning to their villages on foot! This single event was the largest exodus since the Partition in which so many had to travel bare footed and walk thousands of kilometers to their destination without food and water. And so I have just finished watching 1232 kms on Hotstar which is a documentary on this subject. Is it worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
1232 kms documents the lives of 7 migrant workers as they cycle their way to their villages in Bihar. The journey for them may have been filled with obstacles but it was an eye opener for the audience. This documentary could so easily have been propoganda or filled with politics(either way). But this is way beyond politics, caste or religion. It is a human story that makes you teary eyed while you are emotionally invested in their journey. And so it is almost as if you travel with them, being a part of their journey, as they have to deal with one obstacle after another. The struggle is real and the makers do not manipulate you one bit. This is why it is an uncomfortable watch while they search for vasic necessities on their way home. And as they say, at the end the human spirit is intact with help being received from total strangers, at times authorities too. This reinstills my faith in humanity, of being united as one and helping each other out day in and day out.
Music & Direction
The music by Vishal Bhardwaj is pure, it gently tugs the strings of your heart making its way to your soul. Equally soulful are the lyrics by Gulzar saab. Director Vinod Kapri is a part of their journey too and he brings out a unique flavour of universal brotherhood and love.
The Human Angle
The more you spend time watching the documentary, the more you realise how as humans we may be different in terms of social statuses but our emotions are the same. You also get to learn a thing or two about unity – case in point being, if one of them faced difficulty while travelling, the entire bamdwagon would halt and help that person. That for me was so heartening to watch. A migrant worker getting emotional talking to his mother, to all 7 of them receiving help from unknown strangers in any form – be it policemen or truck drivers or Dhaba Owners, this is the India that I know and have known growing up too. The one that goes beyond boundaries of politics, religion and caste and stays together like one big family!
I remember bickering about the smallest of things during the lockdown. 1232 kms makes me feel small about my actions. It is a human story filled with a lot of valour that goes beyond the boundaries of politics, religion & caste. Available on Disney+ Hotstar and Highly Highly Highly Recommended.