Review: Village Rockstars (2017)

Village Rockstars is a unique film. It’s unique in the sense that at no point does the action or the acting seem staged. It renders an almost fly-on-the-wall (or should I say fly-in-the-grass!) perspective. As we watch a mother and her two children, or a girl and her friends, or a group of villagers dealing with flood, we feel we might have been sitting next to them – lying there on the grass, sharing their meal, rowing with them across an overflowing river, looking up at children perched on a tree.

Right from the first shot, Village Rockstars is reminiscent of the Satyajit Ray masterpiece Pather Panchali, as if shifted a few decades in time. Art and literature are often bound by the confines created by the hand of the modern market, so it is a matter of joy that cinema like this has made it through the filters, and is being seen and heard way outside where such action and such sentiments still hold sway. For this alone, the film deserves to be celebrated. The film revolves around a small set of characters, tracing their daily lives. Lives that are ordinary, and the film does not for a moment pretends to paint this in any fancy light to make it seem anything otherwise than what it is.

It’s useless talking about the plot, not because there isn’t one, but because it would be beside the point. It’s also futile to talk about the technique, the acting, the music. Because here’s a work that renders all such details meaningless in its glorious magnanimity, its guileless honesty. All the viewer needs to do is leave inhibitions at the door and float along.

And if you can let the gentle waves of simplicity and innocence – that this short and beautiful work is – was over you, the experience is sure to leave you richer in ways that our worldly possessions can’t dare to dream of doing.