The Great Indian Butterfly – A chewy pie
The Great Indian Butterfly takes us into the lives of Krish (Aamir Bashir) and Meera (Sandhya Mridul) , a married couple with their professional lives keeping them too busy to even procreate… or sort of. Krishna has a past of being in a live-in relationship with Liza (Koel Purie) that is not entirely overlooked by Meera even after years of married life. Meera has a past of aborting her child which she is unsure she has been forgiven for, by her husband, by the Almighty. Krish's alleged inattentiveness towards Meera only aggravates her suspiciousness.
The couple leads a very raucous life, which is not very atypical of urban married people. Every day is marked with high pitched arguments complete with choice swear words and name-calling. It gives out the impression that makes us question- what the heck are they doing with each other when they should leave one another and do some good to themselves.
The story has three parallel tracks. One of Barry John who goes on giving us tiny trivia which increase our insight of whatever the 'Great Indian Butterfly' is, around which the film revolves. Then there's cutting flashbacks which make sense when they show about Liza and Krish's good times but make no sense when they show Krish talking over the phone or doing other mundane stuff in office. The third is that of Krish and Meera taking their long impending vacation.
As the sub plots proceed, the message about pursuit of happiness is discussed in detail, whether Krish is actually cheating on his wife revealed and the discovery of the great Indian butterfly is made!
The absolute originality when it comes to portraying a bickering metropolitan couple. Ahh! What can I say, the potshots taken by the husband and wife at each other are a class act!
The dialogues are damn good. Be it the homily or the conversational ones, they clearly make a point and leave a mark.
The colossal scope for varied interpretation and the high imagery used makes sure the film gets share of timelessness.
The message of discovering where true happiness lies has been presented in another new way and it's good the film is centered around a positive topic.
Au naturel performance of all the pivotal actors.
The slow pace of the film really tests one's patience. Especially the second half of the film it seems is stretched to systematically test endurance levels.
The lengthy monologues about happiness, butterfly and symbolic valleys really go over the head for non-arty types.
The music is very bland and does not help keep eyes open.
The skies are purposely made brown to give some sort of an effect but somehow due to shabby handling we can see the blue skies underneath it resulting in a very unconvincing sequence of frames.
Certain flashbacks absolutely leave us flummoxed leaving us with a question mark as to its relevance to the main story.
Yes or No?
The Great Indian Butterfly is an out and out arty film. It is full of transferred epithets so don't you dare to take words in the literal sense. It offers you ample scope for interpretation and you'd enjoy it only if you like the hazy domains of tarot cards and astrology. If not that then at least an appetite for philosophical rant because trust me, there's loads in store for you.
Experimental movie goers may give it a try.
Rating: ** 1/2
Reporter and Author: Susan Jose