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Raakshas teaser: Forest folklore, human terror add to intrigue in Dnyanesh Zoting's film

Sharad Kelkar and Sai Tamhankar star in Zoting's directorial debut. 

Shriram Iyengar

The rise of Marathi cinema can be traced back to fundamentally engrossing stories that connect to its roots. Dnyanesh Zoting's Raakshas offers a glimpse of another promising venture with its intriguing trailer.

Starring Sharad Kelkar and Sai Tamhankar, the film tracks the story of a family's troublesome venture into the forest through the eyes of a little girl. 

The teaser looks sharp and edgy with the right element of visual terror. From the first glimpse, the story revolves around the family of Kelkar and Tamhankar's urban parents. They soon accompany their daughter on a visit to a forest outside city limits.

Kelkar looks to be playing a photographer or documentary filmmaker tracking the lives of people living the forest. However, they are not the only residents of the jungle. The teaser soon delves into violent conflicts between the police, and gangs we assume to be smugglers. The little girl views all this through her own understanding of the fable about the 'raakshas' (demon) in the jungle. 

Zoting's film carries reminders of Vishal Bhardwaj's Makdee (2002) that mixed fable and reality with effectiveness. However, this one is a lot more darker than Bhardwaj's film. The flow of the teaser ensures that some part of the story is revealed, while a majority of it remains hidden, adding to the curiousity. 

Produced by Vivek Kajaria and Nilesh Navalakha and presented by Samit Kakkad Films, Raakshas will be released on 23 February.