Article Malayalam

Vith preview: A strained father-son relationship sans colour

Focusing in on the generational divide, Palathara tells the story of two distinct individuals.

Sonal Pandya

Don Palathara's Malayalam film Vith (Seed) has been artistically shot in black and white. Inspired by filmmakers Aleksander Sokurov, Bela Tarr, Michelangelo Antonioni and Nuri Bilge Ceylan, the narrative is interpretive and has many long lingering scenes.

Focusing in on the generational divide, Palathara tells the story of two distinct individuals who happen to be father and son.

Joseph, a farmer, leads a solitary existence; tending to his land, livestock and going about his household chores. One day, his son Jose unexpectedly returns home. Their reunion is brief; they exchange a few words and each retires to his own room. Jose has left his job and is back home for good.

The director observes the characters with his camera as they go about their daily activities. But the differences in the father and the son are stark. While the elder man is focused and disciplined in his routine, the younger one is almost aimless about what he wants to do.

To make matters worse, their communication is sparse. Like most fathers and sons, their schools of thought are poles apart. Each one wants something that the other can't deliver.

Joseph wants Jose to help out more around the house, see to his bedridden grandmother and attend church. But Jose seems to prefer being directionless and spends more time out in the fields than at home.

Vith was made on a small budget and incorporates few characters to reveal the tale of a father-son duo who have already grown apart. The film’s leisurely pace may not be for everyone, but its cinematography by Subal KR is composed well and skillfully executed.

Vith will be showcased at the Kazhcha Indie Film Festival on 11 December, 2 pm, Lenin Balwadi, Thiruvananthapuram.

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Kazhcha Indie Film Festival