It’s Halloween, and Netflix is all set to spook us with its series and films. Of them, the OTT platform has realeased Kaali Khuhi on October 30.
Kaali Khuhi is Director Terrie Samundra’s debut feature which follows a 10-year-old girl Shivangi (Riva Arora). In turn of events, Shivangi reaches her father’s ancestral village as her grandma (Leela Samson) falls ill. Before and after her visit to the village she keeps seeing a girl clad in red frock (Hetvi Bhanushali).
Shivangi’s grandma never wanted to have a granddaughter. This is exactly where the plot is revealed.
The anonymous, imaginary village in Punjab had a tradition of killing infant girls on their birth. To do so, the infants were dropped into an abandoned well (Kaali Khuhi). #TheRingAlert
Thus, the well was cursed and so was the village. An unknown sickness which required masking the face for prevention similar to corona affected the females and men were found dead inside the same well.
No more spoilers.
This film is an attempt to address female feticide that plagues our nation to date. Females are considered a burden and so killed in the womb or on birth. The stigma roots back to the property rights that were originally male-centric. The new amendments have broken the earlier rules giving equal rights to women on property.
Moreover, considering the crime rate against women in India, women in India are truly insecure. Any parent is bound to be worrisome on having a female child.
Yet is that a reason strong enough to affect sex ratio? Yes, still many states in India have less numbers of females as compared to males.
Netflix Kaali Khuhi attempts to horrify the educated, half-educated, and illiterate, all the same time. It attempts to create a fear in the minds of those who wish to end girl’s lives. It emphasizes that the societal hatred for girls doesn’t really stem from men alone, but also women.
Yet it fails as a film at large, the reason being its lack of terrifying jolts and dispersing storyline. It lacks depth and feels dry. The cinematography by Sejal Shah is undeniably scenic and brings out a perfect atmosphere but the narrative does not progress as well as the visuals.
Also, the lead – Shivangi played by Riva Arora does not seem very convincing.
Personally I felt that the whole film is carried by Shabana Azmi who plays Satya Maasi and Priya played by Sanjeeda Shaikh. Though in dull clothes, Sanjeeda looks beautiful and acts intensely. Madam Azmi is always at her best and doesn’t need a review.
Still then I would want the rural India to watch this film, only for its theme and usage of superstition to propagate the noble message of preventing infanticide.