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IFFI 2016 K Sera Sera review: Impressive in its sensitive storytelling

The only Konkani film at IFFI in Goa is a gut-wrenching story of the similar inner turmoil of two very different persons.

Suparna Thombare

Film: K Sera Sera — Ghodpachem Ghoddtelem (Konkani)
Rating: 3/4

A drone camera moves in a luxurious and leisurely manner over the picturesque landscape of the Konkan coast as the opening titles of K Sera Sera roll. The turbulence in the lives of the protagonists is in stark contrast to the beautiful visuals of Goa.

Two stories unfold in parallel — one of a ruthlessly ambitious young woman Sarah (Palomi Ghosh) from the corporate world and the other of a clerk, Bhai (Rajesh Pednekar), who is forced into sudden retirement with no pension, health insurance, or savings to rely on.

In an advanced stage of pregnancy, Sarah struggles to cut off from work and focus on the fragile health of the baby in her womb. The stress could cause some permanent damage.

Bhai, on the other hand, is burdened by domestic expenses that include his ageing mother's operation, son's education, daughter's marriage, a court case involving his house, and his own financial security.

While Sarah believes in planning and executing everything to the T, Bhai just drifts along, letting his circumstances decide the course of his life.

Sarah's turmoil in coming to terms with her pregnancy and the condition of her baby is heartrending. Sarah, who takes pride in making the right decisions in tough times, is thrown into a situation where she has to make the toughest decision of her life. For the first time she hopes that destiny would make the choice for her.

On the other hand, Bhai, who has never really taken his life by the scruff of its neck, is forced to finally make some important decisions.

Director Rajeev Shinde weaves the characters, their conflicts and redemption with great sensitivity. You feel their journey. While the film plays out in Goa in Konkani, it could have been set anywhere and made in any language because the conflicts of the characters are universal.

Ghosh and Pednekar's performances do justice to Shinde's leisurely paced and touching storytelling. But the supporting cast is a bit of a letdown.

Some deft camerawork and smooth editing (which were keys to making the constant shift from one story to the other feel organic) by Noraj Voralia add to the narrative. Cutting down on the length a bit would have further improved the film. Nonetheless, the destiny-versus-free will dilemma plays out beautifully in the lives of the protagonists.

As the opening line says, "Do we live life or does life live us?" It is for the viewer to reach her own conclusion. What is certain, though, is that Shinde is a good storyteller who incites tears and hope with his sensitive handling of layered characters and a decisive plot to play out the philosophy of life.

Director: Rajeev Shinde
Producers: Rajesh and Gayatri Pednekar
Cast: Rajesh Pednekar, Palomi Ghosh
Runtime: 135 mins