Kalki Shines In A Radhika Apte Inspired  Splendid Innerview Of Online Invasion: Movie Review

Starring: Kalki Koechlin,  Ritabhari Chakraborty

Directed by: Rakesh Kumar

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She is bold, fearless, brazen and beautiful. Kalki plays Sandy, the spicy scandalous actress who wakes up one not-so-fine morning to be informed that her ‘sex clip’ has gone viral.

This is evidently inspired by Radhika Apte’s ‘leaked’ sex scene. I am glad director Rakesh Kumar has avoided the clichéd casting. I am really tired of seeing Apte play the bold , ‘liberated’ professional who gives as good as she gets,  if not better.

Remember Apte’s apt outburst against a journalist at a media event when she was asked about her ‘leaked’ sex clip?

Naked, which is one of the most appealing short films I’ve seen in recent time, turns Apte’s naked angst into  a delectable give-and-take between a successful seemingly poised ,devil-may-stare star-actress Sandy and a nervous callow inexperienced journalist who is made by her editor to ask Sandy some hideously inappropriate questions about whether the leaked sex clip will cause rapes and other crimes against women.

Kalki is in brilliant form as an actress who must sit through an interview right after getting to know that the world  is either smirking ogling or wanking off to her naked body. It is a humiliating space to be in. Kalki brings into that space all the pain and mortification of  a limelight moth who has just burnt her wings. She is vulnerable and wounded and yet in control of her turbulent emotions as she tries to answer the over-exuberant journalist’s intrusive questions , made all the more offensive by the circumstances in which she is placed.

The Bengali actress Ritabhari Chakrabarti plays off  very effectively against the poised churning projected by Kalki(really, Kalki has come to a stage where she can do ANYTHING). Ritabhari is the excessively intrusive nervous journalist we have all been at one time.This is casting at its credible crest.

The kinship between the two women that develops in just the few minutes of the film’s playing time is all due to the two actresses who  fill up the empty desolate emotional spaces in both characters with a contagious warmth and empathy.Not since Rajkumar Gupta’s No  One Killed Jessica have I seen a journalist express her growing respect for her interviewee’s space with such sensitivity.

There is a moment between them where Kalki looks at the journalist and  comments on her ‘sexy bra’ . The moment defines the entire debate on a woman’s sexuality and how much difference the male and female gaze makes to the question of violated spaces in an individual’s physical and emotional jurisdiction.

Naked is a cutting indictment on the misuse of social networks. The most memorable takeaway from the experience is the hurt in Kalki’s eyes and the nervous giggle on Ritabhari’s lips.The make the body seem so overrated.

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