TNI Bureau: ‘Jalpari: The Desert Mermaid’ is worth watching for its beautiful message and the interesting performances by the kids. The film puts light on the issue of female feticide.
Story of the film has been presented in the backdrop of a village somewhere in Haryana, where the stigmas were the adoptive practices. Of course, director Nila Madhav Panda sometimes crosses the line to put his point in the context of treating both the gender with equality.
The film is not free from flaws, but still the blemish is not important as one can avail several other affirmative doses of entertainment and perfect story telling in the film.
Deepak Venkateshan has tried to present a fascinating story through his screenplay and his attempt can be measured as just little more than average.
A pair of city-born brother and sister, Shreya (Lehar Khan) and Sam (Krishang Trivedi) comes to their ancestral village for the first time during the vacations with their father Dev (Parvin Dabas) and grandmother (Suhasini Mulay). Before practically witnessing the village the duo had, in their imagination, spun the village right out of a fairytale, replete with streams, lakes and grasslands that will allow them to run free. But all they find are dusty alleys, dried up ponds and hostile playmates. But eventually they manage to befriend this unknown place and the gang of kids led by Ajithe. The story revolves around Shreya and Sam’s adventures and misadventures which turn this dull place into a land of enchantment.
The film seems to be like a docu-social-fiction sometimes but of course provides a heartwarming insight into the harsh reality of life in many parts of rural India where a female child is still considered a liability.
Some points in the film are actually unacceptable. Like Shreya calls her father by his first name and is proudly declared “on at par with any boy”. This isn’t really the kind of gender equality that we should be espousing in our prejudiced society. In fact, girls need their identity but for that, they don’t need to behave like boys to be given gender equality. child.
Music by Midival Punditz and Ashish Chauhan are quiet soothing. The film should be announced tax free to make reach the message to a bigger mass.
Clearly, the film is not at par with Panda’s earlier directorial venture, ‘I am Kalam’ but still it is a nice attempt that must be commended.
Cast:Parvin Dabas, Suhasini Mulay, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Harsh Mayar, Lehar Khan, Krishang Trivedi
Director: Nila Madhab Panda
Our rating : *** 3 stars out of five