This one is actually for the Oscars. Rarely do we come across a film so complete and credible at the same point of time. This movie is not just about India’s daughter Nirbhaya or Jyoti Singh, as her parents named her. This movie is about an India, which is completely confused with itself. A nation, which is so deeply divided in the thoughts of its people that any search for a singular ethos would not just be futile but a task full of humiliation, agony and disgust.
India’s Daughter reflects India’s problem of plenty. It reflects how this nation has “plenty” of people who irrespective of their economic strata are extremely fair and contemporary in their outlook. Unfortunately this movie also depicts that India has “plenty” of people across economic strata who refuse to acknowledge their thoughts are regressive and disastrous for any modern day civilization.
Leslee Udwin looked beyond just the gang rape which shook the world. She decided to look inwards into a society that doesn’t encounter conflicts but is dug deep into the conflict zone itself. Leslie’s research into details appears quite unprecedented in this movie. Indeed, it is definitely at par with the research and details done for some good documentaries on 9/11. It is a storyteller’s movie with a very tight editing. It looks like that the movie has been edited from a raw footage of tens of hours to a very tight and extremely overpowering sixty minutes. It is said that “Devil lies in the detail” and each frame of this movie testifies to this. The movie forces you to go back and have the scene unfold in front of you, have it decode in your mind, making you flow along at every stage.
India’s Daughter is all about crime and criminals. It is about criminals who don’t think they have done a crime. It is about parents who despite being pained beyond imagination show extraordinary courage and stay dignified to an exemplary level. This movie is all about a society at crossroads to nowhere, a society that is waiting for disaster upon disaster to happen. A society, which is in a stoic sleep but has that fire and energy to wake up and force the world to come around for a cause, which has nothing personal about it.
This movie doesn’t shame India. It doesn’t shame Indians. It doesn’t glorify a westerner who has made it. This movie states the obvious and it states it in all colour and respect. It is difficult to count the number of stakeholders this movie talks about. It also talks about the faultlines and imperfections, which exist in broad communities of various stakeholders. This movie is everything but a sermon, this movie is everything but a political commentary, this movie is everything but a statement on justice. This movie is definitely about an India that remains shackled.
I suggest you watch it at least thrice — one from your own eyes, one from the eyes of your daughter, sister, mother, wife and girlfriend; and if you are a woman who is reading this, you should watch it from the eyes of your father, brother, husband, son or boyfriend and third time from the eyes of a person, who is totally detached from India. Any which way, it will be a difficult movie to watch and is bound to leave an impression for a very long time to come.