Bollywood Movie Reviews

Aamis Movie Review: Meat Na Mila Re Man Ka

Aamis(Assamese)

Starring Lima Das, Arghadeep Baruah

Written  & Directed  by Bhaskar Hazarika

Rating: *** ½ (3 and a half stars)

‘Meat’  in the  phonetic  Hindi and Sanskrit sound also means  ‘beloved’. It is in the  fitness of things in this  bizarre but  persuasive exposition on  flesh-eating obsessions, that the  search for love, or for a ‘meet’,  merges into a growing  obsession with meat that  finally culminates in a horrific crime that  is repugnant and  in many ways, deeply offensive.

Aamis  is not what it initially seems  to be. A  sweet love story set in a strangely stress-free Gauwhati,  between a wide-eyes innocent young man Sumon(Arghdeep Baruah) and a slightly  older  married  doctor and mother Nirmali(Lima Das),  whose husband is frequently  out of town…too frequently , for things to remain as  equanimous as they seem.

Writer-director Bhaskar  Hazarika is  unusually  adept at capturing the  sounds, sights and smells   of  workaday existence…the rhythms  of normalcy are  captured in all their stripped-down fidelity  by a camera  and  sound design   that know  their  way around  the characters. Hazarika  constructs   a case for a budding beautiful, although strictly forbidden romance  between the unlikely companions who share a common  liking for meat eating-adventures, only too shatter  the mood of  the temperate  and the humdrum with a  twist  in the tale that is  original, jolting and  altogether appalling.

What Hazarika does to  the  romance in Aamis is, in some ways, unpardonably  perverse. And  yet the sense  of doom that swathes  the central  relationship of this freakish fable is somehow, not an aberration but more an accreditation  of  the  anxieties that swirl  just under  the   placid surface of human relationships waiting to burst open  at the  first  provocation.

This  love story about two voracious  meat eaters is hard  to digest.  But it’s also  hard  not to get sucked  into the vortex of  the insatiable  violence  that  gathers  at the centre  of this nerve wracking  drama.

 The  film makes its  journey from  forbidden  courtship to unspeakable crime in  a narrative that is not  fully convincing  but  always compelling right till the  shocking revolting finale.

This is not an easy  film to  pull  off. Bhaskar Hazarika manages it  with  timorous but  unwavering grace, thanks to his lead pair who furnish an uneasy but convincing graph to their  off-kilter  characters. Lima Das as  a bored wife who discovers  a stunning  appetite for  adventure in her stunningly adventurous appetite,  chews on every morsel of her meaty role as though  it’s her last. Arghadeep Baruah as Ms Das’  ‘Mann Ka Meat’  remains constantly wide-eyed and innocent even as  his actions(which  involve self-mutilation)  grow unspeakably vile. 

These are  remarkably accomplished performances  in a film that is  savagely original  . The  closest parallel I  can  think of is  Julia Ducourno’s 2017 French  film Raw.

And in that, no one crossed  culinary boundaries for love.

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