While the fact of whether Padmavati was Indian or Sri Lankan and whether Ghoomar is actually done the way it is shown in the movie are concerns of vital importance to the nation, the obviously less important issue of climate change should also be given occasional consideration. While on one hand the nation grapples with the debate of whether Bhansali’s Padmavati does justice to Rani Padmavati’s pristine honor, Nila Madhab Panda’s impactful story about farmer suicides and climate change, Kadvi Hawa, is runs without social hashtags.
The reason? It is so much more lucrative to most news houses to give undue coverage to a bunch of freaks who would make any statement to get their names in print, than direct attention to this bittersweet movie without mega stars throwing parties. Sanjay Mishra is absolutely stellar in Kadvi hawa which leaves you with a hard to swallow feeling about the environmental situations faced currently.
In a small village, a determined bank employee tries various methods to help retrieve group loans lent to farmers, but in vain, until Sanjay Mishra helps him out with the same, on the condition that he will leave his son alone, who also had a significant loan on his head. The portrayals are realistic and heartbreaking, and the quintessential small town Indianness, which we assume to be true because sitting here in super cities, we just don’t know any better, comes out beautifully. The small elements in the frame are given brilliant focus: a creaking ceiling fan, shabby government desks, and a hastily tied lungi.
There is a brilliant scene in which a teacher teaches in the classroom, in the method of rote learning, how there are four seasons in a year; a little boy objects and says there are in fact just two seasons, summer in the day and winter in the night, and we see how deep and aggressive the problem of climate change is.
It may be difficult to fathom a significant impact an individual could make, yet if each of us do little efforts, like even focussing more attention to this movie over classic Bollywood blockbusters, it’s bound to add up and make a big change. For it may be debatable whether Padmavati is fictional or not, but climate change most certainly isn’t. Truly, we get the cinema we deserve.