G Kutta Se
Written & Directed by Rahul Dahiya
Rating: **** ½(4 and a half stars)
There are some films that seduce us with starkness. G Kutta Se in Haryanvi and Hindi is not one of them. This extraordinary film derives its unhampered persuasive powers not from posturing but from ripping apart all our perceptions of what cinema is and should be , by entering the nervous system of a patriarchal community where women are still not given the right to choose their partners.
And even if they are, this is a right men can snatch away at will.
Sex, says debutant writer-director Rahul Dahiya is used in gender-challenged societies to negotiate the spaces that divide men from women and to bring the women to heel, preferably spiked. On more than one occasion a man is seen forcing himself on a woman arguing she has nothing to lose if she has sex with him.
The women’s will is not just secondary , it is often non-existent. This stunning piece of cinematic invention opens with a man groping a sleeping woman and masturbating…Save your shocked responses for later. As we move ahead through Rahul Dahiya’s crime-infested morally degenerate badlands at the Delhi border ,the narrative is unsparing in its brutaliy.
The harsh merciless hinterland generates the worst kind of patriarchal prejudice and violence, as one young borderline-antisocial manVirender(Rajveer Singh) grapples with turbulent innerworld of bias mixed with a dash of modern liberalism.
Eventually, though, Virender becomes that bigoted radical automaton we see all around us, slaughtering human beings and their morale for suspected disrespecting of cows, heckling young couples in the park, appointing themselves as judge and executioners of our social order….
There is an ongoing rush of urgent subtexts coursing through the veins of this virile film. But there is so much happening on the surface, we can get to what lies underneath only after we stop gawking in stunned silence at the visuals that director Dahiya has accumulated in an onrush of barbaric brilliance.
Be warned. G Kutta Se is not an easy film to watch .The camera(Sachin Singh) moves like a seething predator through the rugged landscape combing hearts and loins for signs of fugitive compassion. This fuming film stomps resolutely on all our cinematic perceptions to give us a fresh imminent and extremely disconcerting view of reality at the grassroot level.
A young girl Diksha(Vibha Tyagi) who is a hapless victim of anMMS scandal is brutally murdered by her parents.A girl Kiran(NehaChauhan) who dares to fall in love with a man of her choice(NitinPandit, brilliant) is dragged out of a hotel room while eloping and brutally humiliated on the street by the cops, a married woman who has run away with her lover is almost gangraped in a moving car…
The inevitability with which one catastrophic illustration of societal psychosis is heaped on another could have made this an unbearablytopheavy film. Rahul Dahiya succeeds in making every episode seem so real and palpable, you will get the feeling of being there, though you’d often wish you weren’t.
G Kutta Se is an acutely disturbing exposition on radical witch-hunting. The film resorts to a tone of narration that brooks no inflexions. Its unflinching unblinkling long and hard stare at tradition-sanctioned violence against women makes it one of the darkest films in living memory. The narrative moves restlessly through a series of events that seem unrelated initially, but come together finally in a damning indictment of a social order that sanctions a negotiable space for a woman’s sexuality but does not allow her to be an equal participant with the male in the process of negotiation.
Dahia’s writing is savagely humorous at times.A horny lover-boy sneaks his girlfriend into an empty ramshackle grocery store for some sex. When she won’t go all the way he’s left to his own (handheld) devices….A runway woman(Rashmi Somvanshi) trapped in a car with a group of sexually aggressive men snatches a drink and gulps it down.
We heard a lot about how a woman’s ‘no’ means a no. G Kutta Setells us how and why a woman’s ‘no’ can mean a ‘yes’ , and if not then how it can be construed as a ‘yes’ .
This is not a film with easy solutions to age-old problems of gender discrimination. Nor does it offer us the comfort of neat cinematic solutions. Its sexual frankness and an unrelenting view of the residual violence of ‘real India’ make us wince and squirm and often wish we were some place else.
If only there was a better place to run off to.