I have been reading rave reviews and watching stunning visuals of this English Hindi Indian made film by director Anandh Gandhi
It has a strange title the Ship of Thesus ,
nothing to do with a ship wreck or any such mundane action possibilities ,
this one is a very cerebral take on an age old philosophical paradox Greek in origin called the Thesus paradox ,here the question is if parts of a ship are changed is the ship still the same or does it become something new !
or say mending an old sock by knitting its holes so much so at a time all of the sock is newly mended holes will it be the same old socks or a new one !
that s a catch 22 situation if any right ?
this really engaged me and I wanted to see the film if for nothing else to see the work of someone who had this out of the box thinking !
Anandh Gandhi brings his Thesus paradox with the subject of organ transplants !
There are three small storylets in the script and all three protagonists meet at the end though unknown to each other but for the audience
the common denomination of course is the organ transplant they all have !
now the paradox by the director and his reason for naming it as the ship of Thesus is does the person with a new organ still stay the same old person he or she was or do they become someone else !
The first part is of an extremely brilliant young lady photographer eneacted by Aida Elkashef who is visually handicapped and takes her photographs fine tuning her auditory inputs as she weaves around Mumbai s crowded markets and among st its busy roads her fine ear catches subtle sounds and her camera lenses click for her to make prize winning photographs ,later she has a corneal transplant and regains her vision and is now able to see the world and her subjects clearly but in the process loses her intuition sense which she had earlier in abundance and wonders if her photographs turned a subtle duller !
The second part of the film is the one I loved .
Its about a young intellectual very rational and handsome Jain monk who enters into intelligent debates on existential philosophy of life and non violence with an adolescent lawyer boy who is part of the monks judicial fight against pharmaceutical companies who do violence to animals as part of their research ,
the discussions are lively and intresting and way above dialogues one can expect from Indian films ,I found shades of Satyajit Ray in his Shatranj ke khilari here .very satisfying indeed .
The monk unfortunately gets diagnosed with advanced cirrhosis due to a liver disease and is adviced for a liver transplant .
Like any othe Jain monk may prefer he decides not to go for a transplant but to attain bliss by starving himself to death
to him a transplant from the very establishments his war is waged upon goes agsints his grain
so the ,the long barefoot march the monk and his close disciples take to a suburban monastery where he would continue his fast is a poem in visual excellence ,
the photography is stunning specially seen in Bluray and the freezes are mindblowing ,
one needs to appreciate Pankaj kumar the cinematographer for his skills
Neeraj Kabi the stage actor who does the role of the monk is said to have starved himself for days for the film and lost 17 kg ,he becomes a bag of bones with bedsores and slowly sinks into almost non living ,
the actor almost did it in real life and his breaking of the fast after the movie was an event by itself
,in the last moment before death realisation dawns on him and he conveys his wish to go to hospital and later has a transplant eventually he lives after the transplant too
surely a new person !
The third part is enacted by Soham shah an actor who also produced the movie he plays a stock broker who had a kidney transplant but learns that a poor bricklayer living in a Mumbai slum was the victim from whom the kidney was stolen !
he traces the bricklayer in his crowded tenement and concrete slum only to find that he himself was not its recipient but a foreigner living in Stockholm
he travels to Sweden to get compensation for the donor
in the final scene all three of them come for a meeting of transplant receivers and the film ends .
Though the film has stunning visuals excellent performances and rare insights of a director it also projects a slightly off beat approach favored by those with a penchant for avant garde fashions
something like a modern art painting which people appreciate so that they dont feel left out !
were the creators of this movie subconsciouly attempting this !
,this is one element I did not appreciate much and felt the raves for the movie was a bit Emperor without clothes syndrome ,
in parts specially the monk story it is brilliant and overall the theme is awesome .
so I would ask all of you to see this rare film and rave if you want
it is a very good film but not the most best film made by an indian
I dont agree with such adjectives for this film as there have been better films too
incidentally the makers have been kind enough to make it available free online even though the movie is still running in theaters for a wider reach
definitely it should be seen
so please see and let me know
I acknowledge the photos taken from online and if any one objects shall remove it