India. 2017. 106 min
After the sudden death of his father Diwakar Mathur (Manoj Bajpayee), young Dhruv comes back from boarding school to be with his mother Nandini (Smita Tambe). As days go by, he begins to suspect that his father’s death is probably not an accident but a murder.
As far as thrillers go, ‘Rukh’ is a one-of-a kind Hindi film. It does not travel at a breakneck speed as most thrillers do, but the timing is not slow either. The film moves at a perfectly natural pace. At its heart, ‘Rukh’ is a coming-of-age film. In the beginning we see Dhruv, an aggressive young boy whose life changes when he is sent to a boarding for assaulting his schoolmate. But as another tragedy strikes, with the passing of his father in a violent road accident, Dhruv has to make certain choices which will affect how his life shapes up. Does he give in to anger and spiral out? Or does he look at things for what they truly are?
First time filmmaker Atanu Mukherjee seems to have been inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s ‘Rashomon’. He uses a similar plot device as the classic, where Dhruv gets to know about the last days of his father’s life from the point of view of several characters that have a stake in the proceedings. And the ploy doesn’t seem wasted or gimmicky either, because you get to the truth along with the protagonist.
Mukherjee, a graduate in editing from the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, came to Mumbai from Kolkata in 2009 and began assisting film editors Namrata Rao and Suresh Pai. In between, Mukherjee made a few documentaries and short films, including My House Is Not So Far (2010) produced by the Public Service Broadcasting Trust, and Stray Dogs (2013). He also edited feature films such as Amit Kumar’s Monsoon Shootout (2014) and Amitabha Singh’s Shortcut Safaari (2014). In an interview, Mukherjee spoke about his foray into filmmaking, his inspiration for Rukh and the process of bringing it from script to screen.
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