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That Sunday, Review: Rape is feign

A piece of jazz lets you in on the scene wherein the actor is watching cartoons, with a remote control in his hand and nodding his head. He is a middle-aged man, totally submerged in the antics on his small screen. Meanwhile, a child gets dressed, obviously to go to school. He then comes into the room of the man and announces to his “Papa” that he is “going”, half implying that he is quitting the home altogether. You begin to wonder whether it is the obsessive compulsive tvorder of his father that has prompted such an action. The boy then comments about the filthy state of the home, while chiding his father for remaining glued to the TV. How much can Mummy do, he berates his Dad.

Very little of this relates to the subject matter of That Sunday, but then we have spent only 1 min and 34 seconds. The son goes out, and we get into the father trying to tidy up as the sparse credit titles come on. It is during his cleaning that the film opens up, for he finds something up the chimney. Guess what? It is a pen-drive. Now, considering the man is a child in an adult’s body and has a son who berates him for his habits, a pen-drive, nicely taped, is the last thing he would discover while cleaning the place. Now you are glued. Your first guess is that it is a sex-tape, your second guess is that it is evidence of murder. Whatever it is, Father Cleaner is soon going to find out, by inserting it into the USB port of his computer. Cleverly, the director does not show you the contents, but lets the camera stay on the onlooker’s face.

Enter the wife. Must be back from work. It is more than 5 minutes into the film. And now we hear the first words from the man. He confronts her with the contents of the pen-drive. Revealing any more will amount to spoiling the experience. But yes, it is about the wife, and about something unmentionable. There is logic in the end, however convoluted, but this is not a thriller. It has a five-minute twist in the end, but it is not thriller. It is about a difficult but very clever decision a wife makes to make sure her progeny is healthy. Only writer-director Prabhakar Meena Bhaskar Pant tries to treat it like a thriller, especially in the last one-third of the film, with rapid cuts and screechy sounds.

High marks on the casting. Payal Singh as the mother is totally uninhibited and spontaneous. Dipesh Shah couldn’t look better suited for the part. He does betray a slight Gujarati accent, though. Rohit Pathak as the third angle in this angular delineation is shown mainly in black and white. His dialogue delivery is above par. Amaan Shah pulls of the grumpy son bit fairly well.

Director of Photography Mahesh Rajan is up to the mark, except for the fascination with grey tones towards the climax. Film Editor Pushkar Bhaskar manages both the pacings well, the first half and the second half. He indulges a little bit in the second half, with smash cuts and jump cuts. Due credit to Shankar Ramakrishnan Iyer, Executive Producer and Creative Director. Sync sound by Pawan Singh adds to the proceedings. Original music and background score by Atif Afzal is variable, but well composed on the whole. Girish Talpade’s sound design needed a bit of moderation.

Rating: **1/2

There was no trailer made for this film.