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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Turtle Under The Earth captures a new way of living rather than just relocation

<p>I watched emerging filmmaker Shishir Jha’s festival hit Tortoise Under The Earth (Dharti Latar Re Horo) a couple of months ago in Goa. Thanks to other tasks at hand, I willingly gave the film enough time to settle down in my memory, in such a way that I could reminiscence about it, preferably laden with nostalgia. I mean, what better way can be there to acknowledge a talented young filmmaker?</p>
<p><img decoding=”async” class=”alignnone wp-image-300390″ src=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/theindiaprint.com-turtle-under-the-earth-captures-a-new-way-of-living-rather-than-just-relocation-do.jpg” alt=”theindiaprint.com turtle under the earth captures a new way of living rather than just relocation do” width=”848″ height=”564″ title=”Turtle Under The Earth captures a new way of living rather than just relocation 6″ srcset=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/theindiaprint.com-turtle-under-the-earth-captures-a-new-way-of-living-rather-than-just-relocation-do.jpg 275w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/theindiaprint.com-turtle-under-the-earth-captures-a-new-way-of-living-rather-than-just-relocation-do-150×100.jpg 150w” sizes=”(max-width: 848px) 100vw, 848px” /></p>
<p>Not even watching the trailer of the film to remind myself of the film’s exact plot was a conscious decision, something that could impact the original perspective I might have formed the first time. If certain visuals and sounds stay with me for all these weeks, rather than months, then it’s probably going to have a similar effect on others as well.</p>
<p>So, I am only going to talk about three things about Jha’s film—a scene where the chief character Jagarnath Baskey is sitting beneath a very tall tree inside a jungle in full daylight, a blurred line between facts and fiction, and an ominous sense.</p>
<p>Baskey sitting under the dazzling sunlight is a hard-to-explain visual because it is an attempt to put the filmmaker’s signature, an auteur’s stamp. It’s slow, distinctly sensible, soothing, and a new beginning. Mind you, the film is about the all-important mines of Jharkhand where development and displacement go hand in hand. I don’t know who rides whom!</p>
<p>This shot has been etched for its impact, even if you get a sense of not understanding its placement in its entirety. This is the birth of a daring filmmaker who seeks validation for his craft more than his theme.</p>
<p>You see the Adivasis struggling in daily life, and you empathize as well, but one can’t immediately take sides. The narrative and style are such that you can’t quickly put a finger on what’s imagined and what has happened. The mystical nature of the story makes it engrossing, super-stylized, and terrifying. What if all this is true?</p>
<p>The biggest success of the film lies in its overall vibe. It is sinister for some strange reasons. There are no apparent fights, cruelties, or a sense of menace. However, the lead couple’s lost daughter is way more terrifying than a horror plot twist. It whispers something but is loud when hits the heart.</p>
<p>Tortoise Under The Earth is a different kind of filmmaking. Only time will tell its importance, but it will tell you a lot of the budding filmmakers and their strengths.</p>

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