Onto the next release of the weekend and I finished watching the new Tamil film Gargi streaming on SonyLiv last night. A film which I personally felt was not talked about much and almost slipped under the radar of everyone. I was hearing some really good reviews from select reviewers but before I knew it, its limited release was all but over. So I was keenly awaiting its OTT release while I was also getting quite a few recommendations on my Youtube Channel Popcorn Reviewss(Please Subscribe😊). So I jumped at the first opportunity which I got to watch this film Gargi. I was prepared for a hard-hitting film without going into the film with what to expect or what the storyline was. All I knew is that it starred Sai Pallavi who is probably one of the best actors doing the rounds currently. So then does the film Gargi manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Gargi is again one of those films which you need to know very little about to completely be shocked while watching it. So with that in mind, I will not be giving you an inch about the story. All I can say is that the story deals with a very delicate and sensitive subject which does transform into something very shocking. The screenplay standing at 137 minutes does make the film slightly heavy given its subject, but the writers do a splendid job in not making this film preachy. The screenplay section will have a few mild spoilers so viewers discretion advised!
The drama opens with the introduction of the protagonist who leads a simple and humble life. A few monochrome glimpses does tell us about her traumatic past which has scarred her for life, with certain items momentarily displaying colour depicting the ones which are haunting her. Things are normal until her father is taken into custody as a prime suspect in the r*pe case of a minor. The mood of the drama is glum right from the beginning but it changes even further after the strange turn of events.
The trauma of a daughter trying to save her father supposedly accused of a heinous crime is so well portrayed here. The vulnerability of the protagonist coupled with the media trials conducted by the media makes for a gut wrenching watch. There is a scene outside the court where the media personnel hound the protagonist and the suspect like vultures in a powerful yet moving scene. In a separate scene, there is a lovely metophor used of light and darkness which portray the mental state of the protagonist. A moment of darkness wherein a lawyer agrees to fight her case is followed by light(when the electricity returns) in a beautifully crafted scene.
The screenplay also ticks most of the boxes brilliantly. For one it has a representation of a transgender judge who in a powerful scene admits to understanding both the genders equally in response to the public prosecutor, will make you clap in your seats. Even the courtroom scenes are very well crafted and something which do get heavy with time but never preachy.
Which brings me to that final act which is shocking and absolutely jaw dropping. The case here is such that your loyalties will oscillate frequently up until the climax which will shock you. It is so powerful that I did go numb after witnessing it. The layered screenplay ensures that the flavour of the final act stays with you long after the film is over. This is a powerful screenplay which manages to hold your attention throughout.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
This is a dialogue heavy film and so you do need to pay attention to the lines which are poignant and powerful. The music is pretty good here, so is the BGM which depicts the mood of the drama perfectly. The cinematography needs to be applauded for its close range of showcasing the characters especially the vulnerability and the pain which the protagonist is going through. Director Gautham Ramachandran does a fascinating job in handling a sensitive and emotional subject and weaving a shocking tale around it.
The performances are outstanding. Aishwarya Lekshmi as Ahalya shines in an extended cameo. Sudha S as the judge is powerful in her performance and she does an excellent job even in the representation of the transgender community. RS Shivaji as Brahmanandam will sway your loyalties frequently and he is excellent here. Kaali Venkat as Indrans is really a compassionate and a sensitive character and he essays it with a hint of humour which is well within the character itself. This was a splendid performance by him. Which brings me to Sai Pallavi who reaffirms why we all rate her so highly as a performer. The pain and vulnerability which she brings to her character through her emotions is just so wonderful to witness. She lives every ounce of her character in what was a masterclass in acting.
Gargi is a sensitive and a delicate film that showcases a shocking tale which will make your jaw drop. Available on SonyLiv and Highly Recommended!