It’s raining thrillers in Bollywood’s landscape, as filmmakers consciously move away from saccharine, migraine-inducing love stories and focus on the multitude of human relationships that doesn’t follow the age-old boy-meets-girl-and-then-love-happens trope.
After Raazi, which released earlier this year and opened to mostly terrific responses, we now have director Dhiraj Kumar getting ready to wow us all with his eponymous thriller Kaashi in October this year. The movie stars Sharman Joshi (after a really long hiatus) and debutante Aishwarya Devan who’s already been making waves in Malayalam, Tamil and Kannada films.
The premise of the movie is simple at first glance: a distressed Kaasi (played by Joshi) is seen at the police station, reporting his missing sister Ganga, a college-going girl, who seemed to have disappeared into thin air on a seemingly regular day. Except, that one day turns Kaasi’s life around as he goes about trying to find the missing pieces of the puzzle and is confronted by a volley of lies and just as many truths, and knows no way he can distinguish one from the other. Devan plays a journalist who helps him make sense of the muck Kaasi has exposed himself to, in this lone mission.
The fight gets harder, and more intense, as people around him refuse to even acknowledge Ganga’s existence, with some even making insinuations about her character. Kaasi is distressed, and justifiably outraged as well, but, however unpleasant it might be to come to terms with reality, is there a grain of truth in what they are saying? Is Ganga what she seems, or are there unpalatable secrets hidden from the noise of the ordinary world, that she will take to her grave?
Hopefully, she will be found before she’s found in the grave.
I am thrilled about the movie since it stars Joshi in the lead, who, frankly, hasn’t acted in a film half as sensible or compelling as his last massive hit (3 Idiots) which happened way back in 2009. Heck, I was a student in the university then and I’m a 30 plus woman now gearing towards motherhood soon – The. Gap. Is. That. Wide.
Apart from Sharman, the film stars Govind Namdev (who plays a seedy, ruthless politician yet again) apparently shielding his rogue son (yet again). There’s violence, grit, wickedness, manipulation, blatant red tapism, sex (the title had you fooled thinking it’s all sanskaari right?) and a climax that I strongly feel might be an anticlimax. Oh, and there is even the mandatory smear-sindoor-all-over-your-face-and-challenge-the-Gods scenario conveniently picturized as a song.
I can’t wait to see Joshi back in form and do a symbolic taandav and turn the whole of Kashi upside down, in search of Ganga. I can’t wait to see what other layers make up the city of Kashi, beyond what meets our eyes.
Watch the trailer of Kaashi here: