Review Tamil

Rettai Jadai review: A heart-warming tale of sisterhood

Release Date: 20 Sep 2020 / 19min

Cinestaan Rating

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Sukhpreet Kahlon

The Tamil short delves into the friendship between two girls who stand by each other.

Directed by Franziska Schönenberger and Jayakrishnan Subramanian, the Tamil short film Rettai Jadai (The Girl With The Red Ribbons) delves into the friendship between two girls who stand by each other through thick and thin.

The title refers to double braids and the film is centred on the travails of a young girl, Viru, who wishes for her unruly hair to be tidy and pretty like her friends’ hair. Bhanu’s hair is neatly braided and decorated with ribbons and flowers every day as her grandmother lovingly gets her dressed for school. With limited means, Viru’s mother cannot afford to buy her the ribbons that she so dearly desires. One day, Viru finds a stain on her dress and thinks she is suffering from a  terrible illness. However, it is her friend who comes to her rescue. 

Based a true story, the film takes us into the simple lives of two young girls in Southern India and explores their concerns. We see the pressure of being the sole breadwinner on Viru’s mother, who has a lazy husband and is unable to give her dutiful daughter the attention she needs. 

Rettai Jadai also explores the conservative attitudes towards menstruation in traditional societies while emphasising the bond of sisterhood. Despite their diverse backgrounds, the two friends share a close bond and protect each other, creating a world of their own and enabling their friendship to help them overcome their troubles.

The use of animation in the film is interesting, enabling the expression of the desire of the girls who wish to sprout wings and fly away and later, illustrating the emotional turmoil of Viru who cannot understand the changes that her body is going through. The evocative music deserves a mention for capturing the milieu and transporting us to the simple, village life of the characters.

Rettai Jadai was premiered at the Goldener Spatz Children Film Festival in September 2020 and has been screened at several film festivals, including the 18th Indian Film Festival Stuttgart and the upcoming IFFSA Toronto.

The filmmaker duo of Subramanian and Schönenberger has directed the feature-length documentary Amma And Appa (2014), which was premiered at the Berlinale International Film Festival. This was followed by their second feature documentary, The Shadows of the Desert, which was premiered in competition at DOK.fest Munich. 


Related topics

Indian Film Festival Stuttgart IFFSA

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