Director: Nila Madhab Panda
Cast: Sanjay Mishra, Ranvir Shorey, Tillotama Shome
When a child is asked to name the seasons at school, he says there are two – summer and winter, much to the amusement of his fellow school mates.
When he is asked about monsoon, he says that it rains only a few days in a year, sometimes in winters, and sometimes in summers. This harsh reality is delivered without much ado.
It is Kadvi Hawa’s simplicity that enables it to tackle the issue of climate change and the plight of farmers in our country with a cold and chilling efficiency .
Nila Madhav Panda’s proclivity to subjects that delve deep into social realities is well known. In Kadvi Hawa too, he lays threadbare the environmental challenges that await us, and the horrific conditions we already live in without ever falling prey to preaching or over-dramatisation.
The two principal characters, Hedu (Sanjay Mishra) and Gunu Baba (Ranvir Shorey), don’t seem to have much in common. Hedu is an old blind man who relies on his instinct as he takes it upon himself to help his son clear off his debt, lest he kill himself like several other debt-saddled farmers around the country.
Gunu is a loan recovery agent who comes to this barren, drought-affected region, lured by a double commission. His tough ways of making the loan defaulters pay up earns him the sobriquet of “Yamraj” or God of Death.
Their paths cross and, driven by desperation, the two strike an ominous deal. Hedu and Gunu are rather unlikely partners but their shared helplessness in the larger scheme of things turns the whole victim-persecutor narrative on its head.
Aided by Ramanuj Dutta’s camera – that perfectly mirrors the barrenness of the landscape and the lives of the people who inhabit it – the film shines in its determined eagerness to not do so.
Sanjay Mishra is riveting as Hedu. He mines the experience to bring us a compelling character who wears his exhaustion on his face – it is the kind of performance that defines an actor.
Ranvir Shorey, with his tremendous comic timing, shines as the always-frowning, tough-talking bank official who struggles to get a grip on his own life even when he appears to be in-charge of the fate of all the farmers in debt.
Tilottama Shome packs a punch in her small role as Hedu’s daughter.
Kadvi Hawa is an unvarnished tale about how climate change has an irreversible impact on our lives.
The sometimes lumbering pace is more than made up for by the stinging end, that will ensure that viewers leave the hall with a deep, aching sense of hollowness – something that the film strives to achieve without unnecessary drama.