by Kierston Drier
Most cinema aims to make the audience feel something- laughter or joy, terror and thrill, anticipation and satisfaction. Excellent films achieve this, while also making you think. Spectacular films do all these things while also leaving one with an empowering message. Enter Kajal, which has transcended all these requirements and more. This twenty minute short from Indian directed by Paakhi A Tryewala, is a cinematic masterpiece of beautiful, terror and empowerment. A statement on society through one woman’s solitary tale of domination and resistance. Our heroine, a submissive and cautious woman, disrespected by strangers, ignored by her boss, and berated by her husband, stumbles into a mysterious package on her way home- containing a gun. Empowered by a weapon that finally gives her an element of protection, defense and choice, our hero sets about making changes the the world around her that treats life as though she is less than those around her.
It is never the gun that creates the changes- it is our heroine, empowered by the realization that she can wield power- and she does so without ever uttering a word.
Kajal is beautifully shot, with gorgeous cinematography. It is exceptionally well cast on every level. The performance of leading actress Salony Luthra is nothing short of awe-inspiring, as she captivates the screen with strength, poise and undeniable grit and determination. This is a rare gem of a film that is composed in near-perfection as it takes the viewer slowly into the life of one woman, prepared to change her world by any means necessary. Yet, the gun that empowers her is a beautiful metaphor for her own power. A gun is only as dangerous as the person who holds it.
Kajal is a must-see film. It resonates with tension, sparkles with anticipation and burns hot with a deep message of empowerment. A breakthrough film with razer-edge execution, it is a riveting cinematic piece to watch. Bravo Paakhi A Tyrewala. Bravo!
KOHL, 20min, India, Drama
Directed by Paakhi A Tyrewala
Like all elements, humans have a saturation point. What happens when a woman — constantly bullied by a boss, harassed by strangers and abused by husband — finds an abandoned package one night?
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