Article Sikkimese

Ralang Road is an atmospheric film showing the darker side of Sikkim

Director Karma Takapa combines dark humour with drama and social commentary to great effect.

Suparna Thombare

Set in the Himalayan state of Sikkim, Ralang Road follows four characters in one ordinary day as their stories intertwine in the towns of Borong and Rabong and the winding road connecting the two, in the southern part of the state.

While the teenagers, a concerned taxi driver, the migrant maths teacher and a pregnant woman all seem just fine, you just have to scratch the surface and the darkness begins to show. 

Soon, the woman is out to seek revenge on the man who wants her to abort their child, while another character is out to commit a cold-blooded murder to retrieve a shady bag.

Here are three reasons why you should not miss the film at the Habitat festival

1. The atmosphere

The prime and supporting characters are drunks, thieves, dagger-wielding criminals, a vengeful woman, young kids up to no good, and menacingly rebellious teenagers. But it is really the eerie winter gloom that assumes the central role and sets up this richly atmospheric film.

2. The perspective

Writer-director Karma Takapa bypasses the picturesque beauty of the place and explores, instead, the rampant petty crimes, alcoholism, gambling and violence. It is a rare and refreshing look at the beautiful state.

3. The ending

The end is as mysterious as the film's foggy setting. The point, perhaps, is less about the plot and more about the duality of the dramatic and the mundane. Though the production quality is poor and the acting raw, a great mix of dark humour and social commentary in the writing still makes the film worth watching.

Ralang Road is scheduled to be screened at the Habitat Film Festival at New Delhi's India Habitat Centre on Friday 25 May 2018 at 5 pm.

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Habitat Film Festival