The Flight (Buddhadeb Dasgupta) India

The Flight
Buddhadeb Dasgupta
India.  82 min.  2018

Bachchu Mondal is a car mechanic, but most importantly, he is a dreamer. His dream is a simple one, he just wants to fly, an aspiration he shares with his wife, but mostly his son, who actually enjoys his father’s attitude, since Bachchu behaves like a child (in a good way) quite frequently. Eventually, Banchu discovers the crash site of a World War II Japanese plane and decides to rebuild it, without, though, having any clue on how to accomplish that. Furthermore, the place the plane is lying is “inhabited” by ghosts, who have the tendency to share their life stories with our protagonist. While his wish brings him to Kolkata in search of parts, the authorities also begin to investigate him as a life threatening series of bizarre events conspire.

It’s certainly a far cry from the barbarism and stark violence of Dasgupta’s well-known The Wrestlers (Uttara), which won him best director kudos in Venice in 2000. Here, the violence lies within the hearts of people who can’t say no to their futile, dangerous desires, even though they are destroying their happiness. The Indians have been preaching the folly of being attached to worldly things for thousands of years, but evidently the lesson has not yet sunk in.