‘Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music’; the film opens with this quote by German philosopher Nietzsche. More or less, 'Kaul' is a tribute to Nietzsche’s philosophy and his concepts. This, like many other elements in the film, is what sets 'Kaul' apart as a Marathi film.
Aadish Keluskar’s debut feature breaks the standard definition of a movie, in the sense that it actually is a motion picture, a montage of motion pictures actually. By all means, this is a significant movie in Indian cinema. It employs a rather unusual method of storytelling which is heavy on dialogues but doesn’t involve the traditional scenes associated with the lines. In fact, scenes corresponding with the dialogues are very less and that’s a good thing because it’s a much needed diversion from what we’ve come to associate cinema with. There are no songs and the movie takes time to unfold. The first half builds up the premise at an excruciatingly slow pace. There’s not a lot happening here apart from the one scene that makes you sit up in attention. Post the intermission, 'Kaul' takes its story ahead.
Insanity or just a different perspective of looking at things; feeling of responsibility or paranoia; struggle for survival or search for peace of mind; these are just a few of the questions Aadish makes you ask yourself throughout the movie. Much like his short film 'Tatpaschat', the director employs a rebellious method in 'Kaul'. But while the former was a story of rebellion, 'Kaul' is a rebellion against the established system of cinema which aims at spoon-feeding the viewers.
The actors have little to do here and it’s the impactful dialogues that stand out. If seen without any preconceived notions, this film can change one’s perception of things happening around. The music is haunting and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The cinematography is unconventional and makes fantastic use of the scenic hills and monsoon.
'Kaul' incorporates the style of films from FTII (Aadish’s alma mater) and is something that you would usually get to see only at film festivals. It is haunting, mysterious and makes you think. A theatrical release for such a film is a bold move on the makers’ part. If only the audience goes into the cinema halls with clear minds and a readiness to watch something out-of-the-box, 'Kaul' has the potential of garnering a cult following.
WATCH: Trailer of 'Kaul - A Calling':
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