Buddha.mov movie review: Kabir Mehta's shifting authorship makes film unexpected, riveting

Nobody speaks for the primary 10 minutes of Kabir Mehta’s 70-minute movie, Buddha.mov. The digital camera merely stands a ways away and observes a younger man as he goes about his day. We be taught that he’s into health, performs cricket and has a method with girls. The digital camera stands discreetly at a distance however captures essentially the most non-public and intimate moments – in mattress with a girl, soaking in a bath and so on.

A nonetheless from Buddha.mov. Picture through Twitter/@filmtribeIN

Earlier than going to sleep, this man spends a couple of minutes checking his on-line profiles, together with vainness browsing his personal Wikipedia web page. By means of this machine of screens, we all know him to be Buddhadev Mangaldas, a cricketer and celeb in Goa. We additionally know that he’s a narcissistic 27-year-old with a Tinder account, a hyperactive libido and a listing of conquests.

Mehta shifts between documentary and fiction to create an interesting hybrid. He merely units the digital camera (cinematography by Reebok Singh) in a single spot, like a voyeur observing somebody from afar, and lets Buddha do the remainder. He revels within the thought of turning into a film star, but additionally demonstrates a touch of embarrassment imagining his household’s response to the footage. He boasts concerning the variety of girls he has slept with, and likewise devises an algorithm by which he can keep linked with them.

Screenshots of cellphone chats and voice mails reveal extra particulars of Buddha’s persona. Pushed by testosterone and adrenaline, he lives a hedonistic life. His brashness is captured when the digital camera travels with him in his rushing car down Goa’s poorly lit, slender streets. Buddha is so audacious that you just need to meet him to know if he’s for actual.

Apart from his focussed model constructing train as a intercourse image and film star, which overtakes his sporting achievements, there are scenes that embody Buddha’s flawed rhetoric. He journeys over this when he tries to clarify his twisted logic of parenthood and fatherhood to an older couple.

Finally you realise that Mehta is being ironic in his “hybrid between documentary and fiction”. Perhaps Buddha is so unabashed in entrance of the digital camera as a result of the director is his cousin. Or possibly the movie is a surrogate commercial for Buddha’s career. He provides up poorly paid cricket for the extra profitable family-run actual property enterprise, which is given a good quantity of screen-time.

Buddha’s give up to the movie – often guiding it, generally manipulating it, however by no means shying away, mixed with Mehta’s exploration of shifting authorship and the hypocrisy round morality make Buddha.mov surprising and riveting.

At different instances, I felt the filmmaker is taking the mickey, observing the viewer’s response to this experiment, or testing limits of how far he can push the visuals and narrative within the broad berth given to ‘artwork’ movies. Mehta could be doing each, or neither.

Editor’s be aware: The 20th version of the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival is lastly right here, and with it comes an never-ending record of critically acclaimed Indian and worldwide movies to look at. Firstpost will evaluate essentially the most promising of those movies.

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