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Handover review: A poignant take on the never-ending struggle of the have-nots

Release Date: 25 Jun 2021 / Rated: U/A / 01hr 13min

Read in: Hindi

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Suyog Zore

Helmed by first-time director Saurabh Kumar, the film has finally been released on MX Player after nine long years.

Director Saurabh Kumar's hard-hitting social drama film Handover has finally seen the light of day after nine years. It's fitting that the makers of the film, which sheds the light on the plight of millions who struggle to put food on their tables, had to jump through hoops of fire to finally get a release.

Inspired by a report in The Hindu newspaper, Handover is a poignant take on the never-ending struggle of India's have-nots.

It tells the story of a Dalit couple from Bihar who, after struggling to pay their medical bills, decide to sell their infant girl child to their relatives. But soon, the media gets wind of their plans and it becomes national news. After an uproar, a local government officer, Ratan Das (Vikas Kumar), investigates the matter and attempts to reunite the child with their parents. 

Kumar, a first-time filmmaker who has also written the screenplay and dialogues, paints a heartbreaking picture. The couple, Radha (Nutan Sinha) and Hari Paswan (Narendra Kumar), who eke out a living as daily wage workers and make a meagre Rs20 per day, have already lost their first child. To make matters worse, the husband is diagnosed with tuberculosis. 

Kumar is impressive as a functionary who is faced with a moral dilemma. On the one hand, the rules dictate that he return the child to the parents, but he also realizes that they are in no condition to take care of this fragile being. Kumar expertly emotes the character's indecision. 

Sinha delivers a measured performance as a grieving mother and wife who is doing everything to ensure the survival of her family.

It's quite evident that Handover was made on a shoestring budget but the poor production values never distract you from the actual story. 

The film has been released almost a decade after it was made, but it couldn't have arrived at a better time. It reminds us of our privilege, especially at this juncture, when millions of daily wage workers are desperately struggling to make ends meet. 

Handover is being streamed on MX Player.

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