Rukh is all about power-packed performances


Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Adarsh Gourav, Smita Tambe

Director: Atanu Mukherjee

Rating: 3.5/5

There are movies that are about action and/or special effects, and there are movies that are about content – love, betrayal, revenge, and the like.  And then there are movies that defy bracketing. Rukh is one of those. It is all about performances.

Debutant director Atanu Mukherjee takes us on a journey into the life of someone who is dead. We discover him through his angst-ridden teenage son. Dhruv (Adarsh Gourav) is at boarding school when he hears the news of the death of his father, Diwakar (Manoj Bajpayee), who had a leather factory. Though Dhruv is told his father died in a road accident, he starts thinking otherwise.

Digging into his father’s past, Dhruv discovers bits and pieces of information about his father that leave him bewildered, confused and traumatized. He stumbles upon sides of his father’s personality that he never knew even existed. His mother, Nandini (Smita Tambe), seems to know something that she is not in a hurry to divulge.

Dhruv’s is a quest that seeks to reconstruct events. His father was bankrupt, the factory had shut down on account of his partner’s malpractices, and something is fishy. Add to this a traumatic incident from Dhruv’s own past, and melancholy is sure to set in. But is there anything at the end of the tunnel? That’s what Dhruv has to find out.

Atanu Mukherjee skillfully highlights the mindset of the protagonists with a backdrop of dimly lit houses, lonely roads, buildings that are yet to be completed, shadows, deserted beaches, and the like.

Rukh is many things – it is a murder mystery, it is a coming-of-age film, it is also a movie about loss, and how you deal with it. Adarsh Gourav comes up with a stellar performance as the troubled teenager, while Manoj Bajpayee is himself – brilliant. Smita Tambe as the protective mother reminds you of the many harried women you see on the roads every day, without really seeing them.

The unravelling is slow – often, too slow. The narrative has many layers, and you have to invest your time and emotions in order to travel with the lead characters. The film’s denouement might not be to everybody’s liking, but do watch it if you do not mind silences and a yesteryear pace.



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