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Review Rajasthani

Washing Machine review: Realistic portrayal of the obsession with a male child

Release Date: 01 May 2021

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Keyur Seta

While writer-director Anand Singh Chouhan’s Rajasthani short film is hard-hitting, it achieves the result in an artistic rather than brutal manner.

We have reached the middle of 2022, but Indian society’s obsession with a male child continues. The problematic mentality is seen widely even in a metropolis like Mumbai. So, one can only imagine what the situation must be like in the country's hinterland.

Writer-director Anand Singh Chouhan’s Rajasthani short film Washing Machine offers a glimpse into the situation in the interiors of Rajasthan where sex determination tests and subsequent illegal abortions are normal.

The film is set in a tiny village in the western state. A young man (Bhavani Singh Chouhan) is eager for a male child. His wife (Ankita Patel) is pregnant. The couple has a daughter and the woman has already gone through a few abortions in the past after illegally finding out the sex of her unborn child.

The man somehow manages to collect a large amount to pay a doctor to carry out the sex determination test and waits for the finding with bated breath.

The menace of illegal sex determination tests and female foeticide has been portrayed in several films and television serials. But Washing Machine offers a realistic and detailed account of the process. After watching this, you cannot but admire the filmmaker for his effort. At the same time, it makes you concerned about the situation.

However, Washing Machine is not the kind of film that shows a stark reality in a hard-hitting manner. The film hits you hard, yes, but the filmmaker has achieved the result in not just a subtle but also artistic manner. There are little symbolic moments that play a big role in creating the desired impact. The experience forces you to applaud the filmmaker's craft even though you may be affected by the subject.

It is impossible to believe that the people cast in the film are actually acting. The performances of Chouhan, Patel, Praveen Choudhary, Pradanya Singh Chouhan and Parmanand Ramdev are so realistic.

Washing Machine was screened at the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) on 3 June 2022.


Related topics

Mumbai International Film Festival

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