Aamis - An Obsessive New Level
Updated: Jul 26, 2020
I was damn impressed with Bhaskar Hazarik's debut feature film, Kothanodi. It was one of a kind Assamese folklore which is dark and twisted take on myths of Indian culture. In his second feature film Aamis (Ravening), he takes the similar dark route which is a fearlessly provocative tale breaking certain boundaries. Thought it's unique movie from an Indian film industry, its reminiscent of a french classic and a Japanese one. I am purposefully not naming those to keep it spoiler free. The plot here deals with the journey of two people (one married Pediatric women) and another (younger PhD student) who is studying about regional food habits. They develop an unusual bond and their platonic relationship takes a number of shocking twist and turns, which for many viewers is a hard to digest factor. Its difficult to assign a specific genre to this movie, as this mixes them at will and keeps you guessing.
In the first act, the treatment follows the old school process - a sweet, old-fashioned, slow paced romance. The handling is mature and we feel the tenderness around how they interact with messages, expressing their feelings with their friends. Their chemistry feels organic. Now we may fall into the trap of typical Raj and Simran story here. But that where Hazarik's changes the genre and there begins my favourite second act of the film.
In the second act, we see some beautifully realized, with moments of surrealism that both amuse and bemuse. The physical intimacy is told in a very different way which is unique. Here the food become a metaphor for love, from the preparation to its serving symbolizes sexual act. It blurs the line between memory, reality, and fantasy. Their delicate relationship is showcased beautifully here. And this to me is the biggest highlight of the movie. The exchange of lunch box stands out. When everything was going smooth and i was expecting the intimacy going to the next level. But to my surprise here comes another blow via the final third act. Personally i felt here is where the film flattered a bit.
In the third act, repression take an unexpected turn. Here we witness the darker side of human mind which deals with obsession and addiction in a different way. The last 15 minutes felt extremely rushed and i wasn't entirely convinced by the turn of events and the actions taken by characters. This is where the film loses sight of its characters. But the final climax scene did cover for that.
In a nutshell its a story of addiction, but told from an alternative angle which many of us have not seen in Indian film. It’s always great to witness the unexpected, and to be a part of a journey that stands out from the rest. I have to admire the courage here.
Verdict - 3.5/5(A monster within)