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Review Hindi

Sadho review: Tale of greed versus humanity

Release Date: 2017 / 01hr 33min

Cinestaan Rating

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Blessy Chettiar

Director Danish Iqbal's Sadho is essential viewing as it highlights the grave issue of human trafficking.

Sadho opens with a wide angle shot of a grave-digger, and a sense of gloom overcomes the cinema hall. The very next scene is that of a happy pregnant couple, Rich and Dipti, exploring a rural market. As they travel through Jashpur in Chhattisgarh, their car meets with an accident.

Director Danish Iqbal takes barely 15 minutes to establish a big twist in the film. When Rich brings his dead child to Sadho to be buried, he is turned away. Final rites are not to be performed after dusk, Sadho tells Rich. At this time, you wonder what has happened to Dipti. You get your answer soon enough.

The next day, Sadho takes the newborn’s body to be buried, but to his surprise, the baby starts crying. It has miraculously survived the accident. But will it survive in the region plagued by the evil of child trafficking?

It is the battle of humanity versus greed that the director tries to bring forth. Locals deal with the issue of human trafficking by outsiders and Iqbal attempts to bring to light this evil with a simple, yet strong story of Sadho.

In Sadho, shaky camera angles and a regional percussion instrument called the bagal-bachu is used effectively to build tension and maintain the pace of the story with minimum or no dialogue. The director has shot in real locations, embracing the local way of life to add finer details to his narrative. Casting locals in many scenes has worked like a charm to present a real tale of a real problem the people of Chhattisgarh face.

While most of the film is in Hindi, Chhattisgarhi is used generously, too.

Actor Sukumar Tudu has done a fantastic job as Sadho. He lived with the locals to imbibe their mannerisms and adequately absorb them as an actor. He didn’t bathe for 20 days and walked barefeet, so he could excel in the chase sequences. The film rests safely in his hands, just like the baby girl he tries to protect from predators.

The one major sore point in the film is Dipti, played by Anna Singh. Her expressions seem misplaced in many places, especially when she’s told the news of her stillborn. Prasanna Hambarde as Rich is restrained and does a good job.

Sadho is essential viewing as it highlights the grave issue of human trafficking.

Sadho was screened at the 9th Jagran Film Festival 2018 on Saturday (29 September) in Mumbai.


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