It’s that time of year again – Indian film season on Channel 4.
This Autumn’s run of Bollywood films kicks off with first-time writer-director Anand Gandhi’s drama Ship Of Theseus.
The 2012 film is based on the intellectual proposition that questioned: As the planks of Theseus’ ship needed repair, so they were replaced one by one, until not a single original part remained – so was it then still the same ship?
Following this thought Gandhi explores the theme of true identity through the lives of three very different people living in Mumbai.
Young, blind photographer Aaliya Kamal (played by Egyptian actor and director Aida Elkashef) recovers her sight but fears she is losing her talent; the monk
Maitreya (Neeraj Kabi) fights against animals testing in medical research but must choose between his principles and imminent death when he falls seriously ill; and stockbroker Navin (Sohum Shah), who wants to do something meaningful in life – only to realise moral choices are not always clear-cut.
Channel 4’s verdict: “In the context of Bollywood’s countless light-hearted romances, Anand Gandhi’s Ship of Theseus is in a class apart. The young director has flair and rigour, which is evident in the film’s quiet exploration of its big themes.”
The second of the films announced is from Gyan Correa, another first-time director, who focuses on the compassion shown to strangers in a series of interconnecting stories of people who meet on a highway in the Great Rann of Kutch, a seasonal salt marsh in Gujurat’s Thar Desert.
The 2013 Gujarati film tells the stories of characters such as seven-year-old Aditya (Keval Katrodia), he’s accidentally separated from his parents on holiday and finds himself in the care of Pappu (Shamji Dhana Kerasia). The silent and reserved truck driver is then torn between his sense of responsibility to return this lost boy to his parents and his desire to pursue his own precarious future.