Certain films based on social issues hold the risk of becoming too preachy. Hence, the idea is to make the point in a subtle and unique manner. Dnayesh Zoting manages to do the same effortlessly, with his film Raakshas starring Sai Tamhankar, Rujuta Deshpande and Sharad Kelkar. The film tells the tale of a documentary filmmaker Avinash (Sharad) who goes missing one day, while filming for his project on tribal group, residing in a forest. His wife Iravati (Sai) and daughter Aru (Rujuta) then set out on a quest to find Avinash.
Watch the trailer here.
While on the hunt, Aru finds a book that narrates a tale of how a princess rescues her father from a monster. She relates the story to her own reality. Aru comes across a mysterious man who tells her that in order to find her father, Aru must solve three riddles. While she takes this route to find her father, her mother Iravati goes through the conventional route and interacts with villagers, policemen and other authorities.
It’s through this journey that we realise that Raakshas is more than just a fantasy thriller. It’s film that sheds light on a grave social issue- of how corporate companies are robbing tribals off their lands for their own greed. As Iravati digs deeper, she comes to terms with the exploitation and corruption that plagues our society. She learns the truth of how corporate companies are forcing minority groups into leaving their lands to fulfill their own needs. Iravati is also shocked to know that a lot of highly influential people are mixed with the corporate companies, including the police. Hence, this makes her quest to find her husband even harder.
As the film progresses, one realises that the real ‘Raakshas’ in the film is the greed of corporate companies and not the monster that Aru is out to find, as written in the folk tale. The film very subtly yet cleverly highlights this issue, that continues to exist today.
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