Kajarya Movie Review


Kajarya is no sugar-coated pill designed for easy consumption. It stares unspeakable barbarity in the eye. The picture that emerges from its unblinking gaze isn’t for the faint-hearted.

The film paints a grim, distressing social portrait of a north Indian village where female infanticide is still rampant.

Writer-director Madhureeta Anand uses minimalist means to hit out at the social mores and religious beliefs that perpetuate the slaying of newborn girls.

Ten million baby girls, the film tells the audience in conclusion, have been killed in this country since 1986 – three million of them in the last decade alone.

Also in the line of the film’s fire is an exploitative media that routinely misses the wood for the trees in its cynical pursuit of sensational headlines.

No less responsible for this horrific state of affairs is the appalling apathy, if not outright collusion, of the law enforcement apparatus that is in place on the ground, represented in the film by a slothful police inspector who revels in passing the buck.

As it transpires, the film’s titular character, a mercilessly exploited child widow turned infant-killer (Meenu Hooda), is herself a hapless victim of circumstances.

As part of a counterfeit religious ceremony staged periodically in the village, she is the one who, in an alcohol-induced stupor, snuffs out the lives of unwanted newborn girls.

Kajarya is led to believe that she is an agent of Goddess Kali and the only way she can atone for the death of the much older man she was yoked to as a 13-year-old is by sacrificing female infants.

Greenhorn journalist Meera Sharma (Ridhima Sud, seen earlier this year in Dil Dhadakne Do), arrives in the village on a routine assignment to report on an annual temple ritual.

A small-town girl striving to make her mark as a journalist in Delhi, she stumbles upon the sleepy hamlet’s dark secret.

As the truth unfolds, the over-zealous newshound falls prey as much to her own ambition as to the diktats of her editorial bosses.

That sets Meera on a dangerous collision course with the unpredictable Kajarya.
On the condition that Meera will protect her identity, Kajarya makes a clean breast of her activities. But the scribe reneges on her promise.

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