Friday, January 17, 2014

Ship of Theseus (2012)

Director: Anand Gandhi
Writers:  Anand Gandhi, Pankaj Kumar, Khushboo Ranka
Cast:      Aida Elkashef, Sohum Shah, Neeraj Kabi

The film starts by stating the Theseus Paradox which poses the question that:' If all the planks of Ship of Theseus was replaced with other planks, then will it remain the same ship? If another ship is made using the replaced planks which one of them will be the Ship of Theseus?' Then the film proceeds to show three stories in the anthology format with some connection. It dwells on the ideas of identity, soul, death, karma etc with organ donation as the common thread.

I watched the film without any prior knowledge other than it deals with existentialism. It was ironic when I heard one character in film referring to the fact that body contains microbes at an order of several times the number of human cells it has, because I had discussed the same thing earlier today with one of my friends. Where will you draw the boundary when the system itself contains several subsystems in which several other organisms reside. Who is controlling who and there is a big question mark over the scope of free will. Isn't it just some organic matter and chemical reactions without any purpose, soul or anything. Another thing is that our cells die gets replaced with newer ones quite frequently and theoretically over a period of around 7-10 years all the cells in our body would have been replaced at least once. So how is one human being defined if there is no soul?

The film is exquisitely shot and well acted. It was made on a very low budget and it got good reviews during the film festival runs. In India it got released in a few cities based on the number of votes it got from potential customers. The film has been made available for free through: http://cineoo.com/sot and it can be freely streamed or downloaded. There is an option to donate as well which I did (Rs.200-the amount it would have cost me to see it at cinemas). All credits to the film makers as this is something that I thought was feasible for such independent films. Make it accessible to viewers and if the film merits it, the word of mouth popularity and money will follow. Good to see that Hugo Weaving presented the film for its Australian audience.

It is really a must watch film for which Indian film industry shouldn't take any credits.Shame that I couldn't see it on a big screen. It might have been better for the film if they did a simultaneous release via the internet like they have done now. It might have helped them in getting to more cinemas as I would certainly have watched it again on big screens.

Rating: 5/5