Baaram (transl.The Burden) is a 2018 Indian Tamil-language film written, directed and edited by Priya Krishnaswamy. It won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil, the only Tamil film to win at the 66th National Film Awards. It was released in Indian theatres on 21 February 2020.

Baaram
Baaram poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPriya Krishnaswamy
Produced by
  • Priya Krishnaswamy
  • Ardra Swaroop
Written by
  • Priya Krishnaswamy
  • Rakav Mirdath
CinematographyJayanth Sethu Mathavan
Edited byPriya Krishnaswamy
Production
company
Reckless Roses
Distributed bySP Cinemas
Release date
  • November 2018 (2018-11) (IFFI)
  • 21 February 2020 (2020-02-21) (India)
Running time
91 minutes
CountryIndia
LanguageTamil

PlotEdit

Karuppasamy, a widowed night watchman, lives with his sister and three nephews – Veera, Mani and Murugan – at a town in Tamil Nadu. One morning after returning from his shift, he breaks his hip in an accident. While his nephews want him to be treated in town, his son Senthil takes him to his ancestral village, to be healed by a traditional healer. Eight days later, Karuppasamy dies. His mysterious death gets Veera, an activist, suspicious.

CastEdit

  • R. Raju as Karuppasamy[1]
  • Jayalakshmi as Menmozhi, Karuppasamy's sister[1]
  • SuPa Muthukumar as Senthil[1]
  • Sugumar Shanmugam as Veera[1]

ProductionEdit

After making her debut feature film, Gangoobai, Priya Krishnaswamy chanced upon news items regarding the practice of Thalaikoothal in online news portals. Upon further research, she realised that Thalaikoothal, a phenomenon she had never heard of before, was, in fact, an ongoing cultural practice which enjoyed social sanction in wide swathes of rural Tamil Nadu. Concerned with the burgeoning problem of an ageing population in India, and a complete lack of social and medical infrastructure to cater to the elderly, she wrote the script of Baaram in two weeks in mid-2016, and decided to produce the film herself, under her banner, Reckless Roses, in collaboration with Ardra Swaroop. Accordingly, they approached the Department of Performing Arts, Pondicherry University, where Priya conducted acting workshops, and succeeded in sourcing the main cast.[2] Additional roles, numbering more than 80, were played by local non-actors. The film was shot in a realistic style akin to the Dogme school of cinema, with long takes, handheld shots and sync sound. No dialogue dubbing was done.[3] It was shot in Pondicherry and Tirunelveli in 18 days in January 2017.[4][5]

Festivals and awardsEdit

Baaram premiered in November 2018 in the Indian Panorama section of the 49th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa.[6] It was also one of two Indian films nominated for the ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Medal at the IFFI, Goa, 2018.[7][8] The ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Medal is an international competition section of IFFI that is evaluated by a jury in Paris.[9] Baaram later won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil,[10] the only Tamil film to win at the 66th National Film Awards.[11] It was released in Indian theatres on 21 February 2020.[12]

Critical receptionEdit

Cinestaan gave the film 4 out of 5 stars at the 49th IFFI, saying, "Baaram is a beautifully crafted social film which will make you question your own actions and rethink your stand on the grave subject of mercy killing."[13] M. Suganth of The Times of India rated it 3 out 5, saying, "The arthouse approach is both a plus and a minus" but criticised the characters as seeming "painted in black and white", saying, "This approach makes them mere placeholders onto which the director can hang her plot. These result in a film that makes you think, but fails to make you feel."[1]Behindwoods rated 3 out of 5 stars stating "Baaram is a hard-hitting film on a social issue that is rarely spoken about. Try not to miss".[14]The New Indian Express rated 3 out of 5 stars stating "However, Baaram doesn’t leave you devastated. It only tries to put a mirror in front of society demanding a self-assessment".[15]The Hindu stated "Despite winning the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil, by the time it winds down, inefficient scripting comes to the fore in this effort".[16]The Indian Express rated 3.5 out of 5 stars stating "Baaram is a necessary film that underlines the age-old heinous tradition, Thalaikoothal".[17]Film Companion stated "The director keeps her distance. Like a diligent reporter, she is interested in (1) how thalaikoothal is organised, and (2) what you’d do if you knew someone was killed in this manner".[18]Sify rated 2.5 out of 5 stars stating "Docu-drama".[19]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e Suganth, M. "Baaram Movie Review : The arthouse approach is both a plus and a minus". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 21 February 2020. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  2. ^ Chettiar, Blessy (26 November 2018). "We focused on finding realistic characters: Baaram casting director-actor Sugumar Shanmugam". Cinestaan. Archived from the original on 12 August 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  3. ^ Chettiar, Blessy (7 December 2018). "It's either complete control or complete distance: Priya Krishnaswamy on lack of women's representation at IFFI 2018". Cinestaan. Archived from the original on 12 August 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  4. ^ Jesudasan, Dennis S. (16 October 2018). "Highlighting a disgrace called Thalaikoothal". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 12 August 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  5. ^ "'Baaram Moved People'". The New Indian Express. 2 December 2018. Archived from the original on 10 August 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  6. ^ "Full list of south Indian films in the 49th International Film Festival of India". The News Minute. 1 November 2018. Archived from the original on 10 August 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  7. ^ "Portraying harsh realities on screen". The Navhind Times. 24 November 2018. Archived from the original on 10 August 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Tamil film Baaram in race for UNESCO medal at IFFI". DT Next. 25 November 2018. Archived from the original on 10 August 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  9. ^ "Tamil film Baaram out of 2 Indian films nominated in the ICFT UNESCO GANDHI Medal competition at IFFI 2018". United News of India. 24 November 2018. Archived from the original on 12 August 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  10. ^ "Baaram chosen as Best Tamil Film at National Awards". The Times of India. 9 August 2019. Archived from the original on 10 August 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  11. ^ "Only one National award for Tamil cinema!". Sify. 9 August 2019. Archived from the original on 10 August 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  12. ^ "Baaram gets a release date". The Times of India. 27 January 2020. Archived from the original on 12 February 2020. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  13. ^ Chettiar, Blessy (24 November 2018). "Baaram review: Mercy killing or cold-blooded murder?". Cinestaan. Archived from the original on 10 August 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  14. ^ "BAARAM MOVIE REVIEW". Behindwoods. 21 February 2020. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  15. ^ "Baaram movie review: Torn between being a moving tale and a docudrama". The New Indian Express. 22 February 2020. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  16. ^ "'Baaram' movie review: A melancholic narration that loses grip and shape". The Hindu. 20 February 2020. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  17. ^ "Baaram movie review: A necessary film". The Indian Express. 21 February 2020. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  18. ^ "Baaram Movie Review: Priya Krishnaswamy's Drama About A Form Of Euthanasia Eschews Sensationalism For Quiet Power". Film Companion. 19 February 2020. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  19. ^ "Baaram review: Docu-drama feel!". Sify. 24 February 2020. Retrieved 4 June 2020.

External linksEdit