Men pleasure themselves while watching steamy videos. And yet some of them don’t blink twice before labeling the actresses as ‘whores.’ Men satisfy themselves by visiting prostitutes, and yet, ridicule the latter’s profession with all the machismo they can gather. The signs of our society being patriarchal are all out there. Yamuna nonetheless, is made to believe she is filth, for choosing a profession as a nude model. Ravi Jadhav’s Nude attempts to break the double standards and hypocrisy with which our society functions. After watching this film, one famous dialogue by Vidya Balan from The Dirty Picture haunts me- “Jab sharafat ke kapde utarte hai … tab sabse zyada mazaa sharifon ko hi aata hai.”
Watch Nude’s trailer here.
Starring Kalyanee Mulay (Yamuna) and Chhaya Kadam (Chandrakka), Nude tells the story of the former, who visits Mumbai with her son Lakhsman, after separating from her abusive and unfaithful husband. Yamuna is desperate for work, as she needs to fund her son’s education. Her aunt Chandrakka, who is a nude model in JJ School of Arts, encourages Yamuna to follow suit. With no other means to earn money, Yamuna hesitantly takes up the job. As the film progresses, one gets to witness the ridicule that Yamuna faces for her profession, and how she transforms from a coy village girl, to a strong independent urban woman.
Nude is carried by Kalyanee and Chayya’s brilliant performances. Kalyanee has the ability to hold her expressions, without as much as a twitch. She demands attention with her powerful gaze and dialogue delivery. Watch out for the beginning scene where she fights with her husband. Kalyanee’s aggressiveness here is guaranteed to raise the hair on your neck. Chhaya is equally memorable as the feisty Chandrakka, who is Yamuna’s anchor. What makes her endearing is the fact that she doesn’t give two hoots about what society thinks of her.
Chandrakka and Kalyanee’s relationship is one of the many factors that makes Nude a must-watch. Naseeruddin Shah’s cameo as arts teacher Mallik Sahab is another one. The actor proves that no matter how big or small a role, it’s all about leaving a lasting impression which he undoubtedly does.
Ravi’s direction and story-telling deserves a special mention here. The filmmaker has expressed a sensitive topic in the most aesthetic and poetic manner possible. There are several frames depicting partial nudity and not once, will you get a sense of them being vulgar. This is again a stereotype that Ravi aims to break- nudity being equivalent to vulgarity. Nude found itself amidst several controversies during its release and was even pulled out of the screening at IFFI 2017. All we can say, is that officials at the I&B ministry, clearly missed the point.
The film boasts of many visually- appealing scenes. There’s one where Kalyanee swims in the deep waters of the ocean. The frame is set against the backdrop of a luscious green landscape, and this scene is almost a confirmation that heaven must exist. All the art room scenes have been shot beautifully where Yamuna sits naked among art students, who draw out her body shape on canvas. Intricate shots such as them sharpening their pencils or carving out lines on white paper, is reminder that Ravi’s Nude is not a film based on art, but art itself.
It is the filmmaker’s best piece of work yet and deserves a watch for its poetic depiction, unique story, powerful performances and the important message that it carries about women empowerment. Watch the film and tell us what you think about it in the comments section below.
For more entertainment, check out the collection of fun Marathi films on ZEE5 here.