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S Durga Movie Review: It Doesn’t Cause Any Offence To Anyone Except Perverts!

Subhash K . Jha



Movie: S Durga

Starring: Rajshree Despande, Kannan Nayar

Directed by: Sanal Sasidharan

Rating: *** ½ (3 and a  half stars)

The  first 15 minutes of  this  jolting experiment with truth and nails, seems  completely  unrelated  to the rest of the film.

This  is what you get when there is no formal screenplay. S Durga(S by the way, stands  for ‘Sexy’ but shhhh!) was shot over one night on a barren  highway with no script . The  film is a marvel of improvisation. Director Sanal Sasidharan  is  not afraid  to plunge into the abyss of the unknown as he explores the sexual dynamics  of caste , gender and religious discrimination on  a  scarily dark desolate stretch   of a road  less travelled.

In  some unexpected way, the highway becomes a metaphor for the socio-cultural imbalances  in our society where the bullies often posing as custodians  of the country’s moral values take over  the  destiny of ordinary citizens.

And so it happens with the couple Durga(Rajshree Despande) and Kabeer(Kannan Nayar) who are on the run.

The girl is  Hindu and  North Indian. And  the  boy is a Muslim from Kerala. Yup, this is the forbidden  frightening world of  ‘love jihad’ as seen through the eyes of  a director who suffers with the  couple and is able to transmute their feeling of  growing dread to the  audience  .  As  the couple hitches  a ride  with four sinister ‘strangers’ (billed simply as ‘strangers’) the intuitively improvised narrative gathers  its cumulative strength by letting the  couple’s destiny hang  in abeyance.

We  never know till the end what will happen to them. When we  leave the couple we are given no assurance  that they  will be safe  from predators and  perverts.But we do know that the strangers who have given them  a ride, are taking them  for a ride that is most likely end in a horrible crime. Will the girl be raped? Will they be murdered? Or will the couple  be robbed and  allowed  to escape with their lives?

As  the  scriptless voyage into  the unknown reaches an end,  you will find yourself  sending up  a prayer for Durga–who is sexy because she is not doing what sexy people normally do in films, namely act wounded vulnerable and hysterical  under stress–and Kabeer–who is Muslim and  in the company of his Hindu soulmate on a desolate highway…can it get any scarier? Can we ever hope for  a balanced social order when two young adults can’t feel safe together ?

S Durga is  not an easy film to watch. Its  aura of uncertainty makes  you uncomfortable and  quezy.It is  thoroughly unpredictable and frequently  out of control .The cinematographer(Prathap Joseph)  goes with the couple’s fears and insecurities capturing, not  the outside world that creates these  negative thoughts but the  emotions that flow from within the couple as  they  try to remain calm under  stress.

The thing about S Durga  is, nothing HAPPENS to the couple. Not really. Till the end they are unharmed. And  the  social transgressors who offer them a ride keep reassuring the couple that they are safe in their company.

But are they?  Director Sanal Sasirdharan constructs a spiral of terror without actually surrendering to the  rituals  of  horror.

Speaking  of rituals the  film opens with a  lengthy uncut recording of an elaborate Hindu ritual where the fanatic worshippers  of  the Mother Goddess inflict masochistic pain on their selves just to please  the  deity. The things we do in the name of the gods, I tell you! And  theGoddesss whom we whip  ourselves  for  into  a bloodied  pulp can’t be  called sexy.

Self-punishment  is attractive  only when we  do 50 shades  of grey. This  film goes into a thousand shades  of black.

Watching  S Durga you may feel at times  like a  wayward traveler who has lost his way while trying to escape  from a situation  of oppression. In doing so, the film creates yet another level of  ineluctable terror.Tyranny, oppression and persecution are inescapable in a society  where  children  are  taught to look at the opposite sex with curiosity and other religious communities with caution.

It’s not love jihad we should fight. It is  the aversion to love—and not just romantic love– that needs drastic revision in our social  order. S Durga in  its unrehearsed  improvised way  tells us why love is such crime on the highway  to hell.


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Sui Dhaga Will Be Varun Dhawan’s Last De-Glam Role For A while

Subhash K . Jha



2018 will be  one of  Varun Dhawan’s most creatively satisfying years since  his arrival  in Bollywood. Shoojit Sircar’s October fetched him the best reviews  of his career. Sharat Kataria’s  Sui Dhaaga which releases in October is guaranteed  to take Varun to another histrionic  peak.

But will Sui Dhaaga a   film about the common man’s common dreams, as steeeped in naturalism as Kataria’s debut film Dum Lagake  Haisha,  get the  boxoffice figures that Varun’s  big blockbusters such Badarinath Ki Dulhaniya and Judwaa 2   obtained?

Chances are Sui Dhaaga  will remains  a lowkey earner, just like October, making this Varun’s most creatively satisfying year  but also the weakest  year in terms  of  boxoffice.

While Varun is  all for doing unorthodox roles his  father  the  blockbuster machine  David Dhawan  feels the  numbers are  vital to an actor’s career.

Says  David, “I’m very proud of what Varun has done in  October and  Sui Dhaaga this  year. But boxoffice success is very  important. It is only  when a film like Judwaa 2  earns the big bucks

that  Varun  becomes empowered to do the kind of classy work he has done in 2018.”

Chances are, Varun will now   cut down on the classy and  plunge into the  massy.

Says a source very close  to Varun, “He had  decided to  do  one non-mainstream film every year. But in  2018 he did two  offbeat  films. So Varun won’t be  doing any non-mainstream films  next year.”

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Are The Ranveer-Deepika Wedding Rumours Misleading?

SKJ News Bureau



Is it just an uncanny coincidence that the rumours  of  the Ranveer-Deepika wedding have surfaced just when  the Priyanka-Nick Jones alliance is gaining momentum?

We suddenly hear  of  another big glamorous filmland wedding in  the  offing.

Sources say this is  nothing more than a  diversionary tactic.

“The rivalry between  Priyanka and Deepika is no secret. For some very strange  reason everything that  Priyanka gets, Deepika also wants. We don’t  know why this should be so. Deepika has as much success  and stardom as Priyanka. What she doesn’t have is Priyanka’s  international fame.Now  when Priyanka has got herself an American fiancée Deepika seems  to be looking at ways  to  upstage her arch rival,” says a young filmmaker in the know.

Could the Ranveer-Deepika  marriage  rumours be  a mere reaction to Priyanka Chopra’s engagement?

Don’t looks aghast. Anything is  possible in the world of entertainment.

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Iulia Vantur To Debut With A Hardhitting Film On A True-Life Story, Salman Approves

Subhash K . Jha



In  Radha  Kyon Gori Main Kyun Kala the film directed  by Prem Soni  that  Iulia Vantur is  doing  as her acting debut , she plays no decorative doll for sure.We can tell you  without giving away  the  plot that Iulia   plays a foreigner  in India who gets  into a situation  of tremendous  stress.

According to  sources  the  role is  a real challenge  for any seasoned actress, let alone a debutant.

Apparently  Ms Vantur was in two minds  until her mentor and  adviser Salman  Khan convinced  her.

“She  was  not  sure she wanted  to start her career with  a character so  hardhitting and intense.  But Salman  convinced her that it was right for her and that’s when she agreed,” says a source in the know.

Iulia would now be undergoing a few weeks of serious acting workshop to prepare her for her part.


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