I have been looking for a long time for Sira to be available to watch online. After watching Grahanam, I eagerly searched for the Sira video, but in vain. All these are art movies and may not be of much interest for the cinegoers.
Sira won the `Best Antiterrorism Message Award’ at the Idaho Panhandle International Film Festival. It is a surrealistic movie, which is tough to understand.
What is Surrealism?
“20th-century literary and artistic movement that attempts to express the workings of the subconscious and is characterized by fantastic imagery and incongruous juxtaposition of subject matter.” – The American Heritage Dictionary.
This Wikipedia article explains it at a length with lot of resources.
I found an interesting discussion on the movie at DesiVidoes.Net (page is no longer available). I liked the explanation by Siri.
Did you dream in your sleep any time? The answer may be ‘Yes or No’
Can you understand all your dreams? The answer may be, ‘Yes or No’.
But can you draw inference by correlating the shattered images of your dream to understand it?
If you can say ‘Yes’, then you are fit to understand the film ‘Sira’, The Ink.
‘Sira’ is made with Surrealism. It is the first complete Surrealistic movie in India.
Oxford Dictionary says that Surrealism is ‘20th century movement in art and literature aiming at expressing the sub conscious mind’
Every scene and every frame is made abstract. You need to tune your minds to watch it. If you don’t understand the film, just take some time, watch for the second time and then draw your own inference.
The most interesting aspect of surrealistic films is that it can be inferred in any number of ways. The understanding of the film depends on the cognition levels of the beholder.
Here is a brief scenic description of the film in my view perspective:
Scene Inference Observations
Some one calls the poet early in the morning. The poet identifies him as a skull and says, ‘Oh! It’s me” That is the skull, a symbolism of head, which is narrating this film early in the morning without any dialogue. What our head can narrate to us other than a dream or thought? So, this entire film is a poet’s dream. Early morning dreams are known for purity and truth. Dreams appear with shattered images and crumbled thoughts. Camera work deserves a mention here. The spectacles of the poet are shown different.
The poet digs the soil and places a walking stick in that. He waters it and smells the wet soil. He stretches his hands and breathes happily. He stands up and rotates feeling that entire Universe is his own place Walking stick is a replica of lifeless tree. The poet’s subconscious mind is filled with the thought that trees are being cut down and greenery is absent. But he expresses his love towards trees by watering that stick. He loves the soil and this earth and hence smells the damp soil to his delight. He stretches his hands and smiles implying that he is enjoying freedom. He rotates with Universal bliss like a free bird that is free from all bondages. Vandemataram music brings the feel that poet is patriotic.
Poet draws down an empty bird cage and sprinkles seeds into that Poet is sub consciously worried about the exterminating bird species. But he loves the birds. The former is depicted in the form of empty cage and the later is shown with the sprinkling of seeds.
The door doesn’t touch the ground. That is mounted on the wall. This shows that poet’s mind is not touching the ground. He is someone beyond who always dreams about Utopian world.
The ladder shows the head of an ape downwards, the face of a young boy above that and an old man’s idol on the top. This ladder is the most prominent thing that dwells in the heads of the poet. He always thinks about the stages in human life that came from ape.
Red News Paper Metaphor for bloodshed. Black News Paper Metaphor for Sorrows, deaths and Worries The music worked on this scene is horrified and haunts for some time. The crumbled Red and Black News Papers appear to be blossoming This means the heart of poet got blossomed to write something responding to the News he read.
Poet drinks Ink
He is an embodiment of writing
Horse neighs Poet got an interesting and majestic thought that made him happy. He writes that immediately.
Poet’s wife wears black sari through out Metaphor for sorrow, worry and protest. She protests her life.
Poet locks his head in a jail and thinks to write something He arrests his freedom of expression and writes for money by pleasing a set of people.
Donkey bays The poet gets a dirty thought and sprinkles the ink to show that he wrote something.
Coins shower He earned a few bucks for the first time with that dirty write up.
Poet’s wife takes a forest fig and cuts that to boil. Just observe the shape of that fig. That resembles sexual organ. The poet’s wife is not satisfied with her marital life and her desires hence she is boiling her desires.
First Night Scene Poet’s wife feels that her husband is equal to a dead man on bed. Yes, poet is only focused on Utopian world but nothing else.
Poet’s wife feeds her husband with an Omlette. But poet remains with half hunger even after eating that. Then the wife breaks a globe like an egg. This shows that wife loves the poet a lot and she is ready to break even the globe to feed him.
Poet’s wife wakes up with the sound of shuttle cock. This implies that her life is shuttling between her mind and heart like a shuttle cock. We have to imagine that her Sacred Marriage Thread in her neck is the Net.
Poet ties a garland of Nibs to her ankle. The scene depicts that poet loves his wife a lot but he has nothing to make her happy other than pens, nibs, papers and ink.
A fish, confined to a small aquarium is shown. The life of this poet couple is confined to that pillaged ruin due to financial crisis.
Two buds catch fire and burn down This shows that the young age of this couple got burnt down without any sexual pleasures with the fire of nib. Camera work deserves a mention here.
Poet takes a broken globe filled with blood and tries to weld that till he grows old. Whole world is filled with blood shed and the globe is breaking into pieces. The poet worked through out his life to weld the globe with his pen. Shadows are rightly canned by camera in this scene.
A crow flies off out of two The poet passed away but the wife remained How could the director manage to make only single crow fly off? That’s really a wonder.
Poet’s wife looks young but the poet turned old. This is poet’s dream. Since he loves her wife he cannot imagine her in old age.
Poet goes red and fights with nibs those grow as nails This shows that the poet fights against terrorism and violence with his writing.
Poet dies with globes on his eyes The poet loved the world and tried to protect it. But he died. Still, he looks only at the world.
Kaley Varshathu Parjanyam
Prithvi Sasyasaalini |
Braahmanaa Santhu Nirbhayaa ||
Let the clouds rain
Let the Earth Stay Green
Let the Country Stay Far From Famines
Let the Intelligent groups stay fearless
This is the verse that concludes the film.
Music director Veena Pani must be credited for bringing out such a hysterical feel for the film using only traditional instruments.
Cinematographer RP Tanikella must be lauded for his aesthetic sense in framing the scenes.
Bharani’s and Jhansi’s silent performances conveyed a lot only with expressions.
The location chosen for the film is a natural one and the art work is done on that as per the screenplay required.
Verdict And Suggestion:
The surrealistic films of this sort must be encouraged.
These films should be screened for school and college students and make them write Film Appraisal. That boosts up the creativity of students. It would really be a thoughtful exercise for students if these are shown to them to write reviews.
Yes, surrealistic films like ‘Sira’ hardly convey the message directly. It needs sharp brains to understand.
This is certainly a wonderful and inspiring attempt by Tanikella Bharani and his team. It gives confidence for artistic film makers to take any wild, crumbled and shattered dream onto celluloid.
After watching ‘Sira’, The Ink, I felt-
Young age Twinkles
Old Age Wrinkles
Life’s Sound Tinkles
Poet’s Ink Sprinkles
Update November 2, 2011: One of my blog readers, Mr. Brijesh, pointed me to the above videos available on Vimeo. Thanks Brijesh!