Ratheesh KrishnaVadhyar (ratheesh) wrote,
Ratheesh KrishnaVadhyar

Uski Roti

Watched the 1970 Hindi film Uski Roti, directed by Mani Kaul. Until very recently, I had never heard of this film.

The film is set in a village of Punjab(?) and has just a handful characters. The Wife, the main character in the film, lives in a sort of mud hut. Most of the time we see her either making roti, or waiting at the bus stop to deliver the rotis to her husband Sucha Singh, who works as a bus driver. Sucha Singh comes home only for one day in a week, and rest of the time he indulges in various activities of entertainment in the city.

The film presents themes like gender disparity which are socially relevant event now; But what I liked most in the film was the narration style and frames. The narrative is realistic and slow paced with many long shots, but it never appears pretentious or forceful like some of the characteristic "award films". The black and white frames in the film seem to blur in some scenes involving rural landscapes as if sunlight in the village is adding a soft dreamy glow on it from edges, while on some other scenes, especially those showing the eyes and closeup shots of the Wife and her sister, the visuals are sharp and clear. The camera angles and the way various scenes are orchestrated looked unique to me. I think overall Uski Roti might have been a refreshing experience for 1970 Hindi Cinema.
Tags: films

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