When I first watched the movie Killa more than year ago I felt a profound sense of joy after the credits had rolled. A movie so simple in it's premise and plot but so artfully executed is something that I rarely come across. I also rarely watch movies more than once. But the first viewing of Killa remained etched in my mind forever. After moving out of India one thing I missed sorely was the easy access to regional movies. So when I came for annual trip back home this time one of the things I was looking forward to the most was a rewatch of this movie.
Killa which means fort in Marathi dosen't play an outsized role in the movie but it serves as the location of one of the pivotal points in the movie. Even though the plot is simple enough to not really have anything that could be deemed a spoiler it's best to experience the scenes with you own eyes.
What impressed me was how much mileage the film gets from just a handful of basic elements. A young school going boy experiencing the struggles of moving to a new town. Making friends and discovering himself along the way. A single mother dealing with corruption at the lowest levels of a government job and dealing with the fallout of trying to do the right thing. At the same time giving her son the support to acclimatize to the new environment while filling the void of his father's absence in his life.
The other star is really the town of Ratnagiri itself shown off in all it's rustic beauty thanks to some excellent cinematography. The subtle understated music cues punch every scene with weight that let's you appreciate those slow lingering shots of everything even more. The actors feel like everyday people going through their lives while you stand back and observe.
When the credits role there is nothing to really resolve but the mother and the son have all gone through and evolution of sorts. Friends are made and lost quickly. But every facial expression spoke so much to me. I was happy and connected with the protagonist in a way that I don't usually feel. It's why every time I think of the movie I can remember individual scenes unlike most movies I watch.
Times when I feel the world and my own life has become chaotic and complex thinking about Killa calms me down and makes me realise how the simplest things in life can bring you the most joy.