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Turtle review: Sanjay Mishra's National Award-winning film talks about water conservation in a fun, engaging way

Directed and written by Dinesh Yadav, the film is based on the issue of the world water crisis. It draws a real picture of what our future looks like due to the depleting water resources. One might think the film will be a serious artsy picture, but as they say, do not judge a book by its cover, it breaks that judgement and conveys the important message in a simple, yet pleasant and engaging manner.

4.5rating
  • Akhila Damodaran

Last Updated: 12.21 PM, May 07, 2022

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Turtle review: Sanjay Mishra's National Award-winning film talks about water conservation in a fun, engaging way

Story:

The film raises awareness about the need of the hour to conserve water resources. Inspired by a real story of Ramkaran Choudhary from the village Dehlod in Rajasthan, it is a metaphorical depiction of a turtle digging the earth to deepen the water level. 

Review:

Directed and written by Dinesh Yadav, the film is based on the issue of the world water crisis. It draws a real picture of what our future looks like due to the depleting water resources. One might think the film will be a serious artsy picture, but as they say, do not judge a book by its cover, it breaks that judgement and conveys the important message in a simple, yet pleasant and engaging manner.

The film opens with Ramkaran Choudhary (Sanjay Mishra) walking on hot and parched land with a huge shovel on his shoulders. It then cuts to a scene of the water mafia, run by another villager Shambhu who sells water to his fellow villagers for a sum of money. He calls Ramkaran's grandson a jinx as he spreads this superstitious belief that the entire village ran dry after he was born. The villagers are then seen chasing and abusing him when Ramkaran comes to his rescue. The boy Ashok tells Ramkaran that he was just trying to put a turtle into the well of Shambhu as his science teacher told him that they help to deepen the wells. Choudhary then takes charge and informs the entire village that his grandfather has left a treasure in the courtyard of his house. He'll dig it out and build wells in the village and take up the challenge of Shambu to get water for the entire village and offer it free of cost. 

It offers an authentic representation of a village and its people by also beautifully winding the story around superstition, black magic and child marriage. 

The film talks about the importance of water and how our survival is dependent on it without being preachy. It shows how things, as little as shaving a beard, too need water. In the film, a barber is seen using his spit to shave the beard of his clients. He is then heard saying that he is unable to even spit as his throat has gone dry. 

There are also scenes of villagers fighting and snatching pots of water, which will leave an indelible mark in your heart. The film is well-intended and shows a sneak peek of what the situation is currently in the world. A 60-year-old man had lost his life in a similar fight for water in Delhi. 

The performances of the actor, especially Sanjay Mishra, is incredible. His character, who is completely helpless and unable to keep up his promise, strikes a chord with the audience. He makes you sympathise with his character but at the same time, also makes you laugh. The direction is good and the writing is crisp. The story has been well edited too and runs for the right duration. It keeps you engaged throughout the narrative.         

The film ends with Ashok and Reena standing in a dry stepwell and empty pots falling around them. The end credits show snippets from a well-researched study that talk figures and present the current scenario of water scarcity around the world. Studies have shown after Cape Town, Bengaluru would be the next city to face severe water scarcity. Overexploitation of resources has already started showing its deep effects in villages and towns and it is now seeping into cities as well.

Verdict:

Sanjay Mishra's folktale throws light at how bleak our future is going to be and the possibilities for a water war across the globe as the resources are drying up. It tells the story in a fun and engaging way in an hour and is a definite watch. The 2018 film is available for streaming on Zee5.

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