Chaurahen


Film: Chaurahen


Writer-Director: Rajshree Ojha


Producer: Rajshree Ojha


Director of Photography: Tobias Datum


Cast: Zeenat Aman, Soha Ali Khan, Ankur Khanna, Shyan Mumshi, Nedumudi Venu, Arundati Nag, Karthik Kumar, Victor Banrejee, Roopa Ganguly, Kiera Chaplin


Synopsis


Chaurahen is a love story of life, that we have to bear that turns the fantasy of love into the reality of everyday. This film, almost like snippets of collected photographs, brings together similar disconnected people in search for something to overcome the mundaness of reality. 


This film, which is very different from anything seen in modern Indian cinematic narration, characters are connected, perspectives are skewed, morality is left ambiguous and the gray area between right and wrong is explored, often through overlapping streams of plots. No journey is ever completed, only traveled upon and journalistically, almost too stark real accuracy, accounted for. This is so that our characters don’t appear fake or heroic, but seem to have altered some event, just slightly, at the end of which, a little victory is achieved or a life is nudged into hope or out of equilibrium.


The audience leaves knowing only from what our characters tell them and they piece back the fabric of their lives and connect the stories to a natural subjective conclusion from the clues we have given.


Faroo and Ira are in Mumbai, he is 35 and haunted by the ghosts of his past, his dead parents and their memories in the house he occupies and writes about, so much so that he is incapable of responding to the notion of what could be inches away from true love with Ira. She leaves him, and he left with his demons, wallows in them, and ends up alone. He has to move on in order to love again.


Nandi and his family, the Nairs, are in Cochin. He is one of three children returned from being an architect in Vienna to confront the lonely reality of his brother’s loss to a war, his own inability to connect with his past in India and his present predicament of having to feign a relationship with a European woman only as a means of hiding his lover Jeffery.


Dr. Siddharth Bose, a wealthy Calcutta surgeon in his fifties, in a loveless, pitiful and pointless marriage which he attempts to rattle by embarking on a quick, is having a nervous and uncomfortable affair with a much younger woman, Laia, a woman en route to discovering India and “herself” who works at a small bookstore. Their passionate yet tormented romance lays the groundwork for one relationship to repair between husband wife and another to self-destruct. Radha Bose (the wife) orchestrates adjustment at the cost of happiness. “Love is to let go,” says Radha


Faroo, Radha Bose and Nandi are own main guides on this journey through existentialist angst and unsolvable psychological confinements. We find that regardless of locales or financial comfort or geography, they are united without ever meeting as a natural mental discomfort and irritability about desire plagues these central characters. Their narratives lapse into each other and often effect each other terribly, subtly, creating a “cause and effect” relationship known only to the audience but leaving our protagonists to rely on the fates, coincidence and metaphysics for all that is happening to them.


When they do meet in our grand conclusion, (some finale if you will) at the airport, at the cross roads of the decisions they’ve taken, the results of such decisions will reveal themselves or reverse or resolve or be left unfinished but altered, as the narrative allows.


How they resolve themselves or if they ever do or whether a resolution is at all what we seek or whether human contacts is enough, or are all things fate or just one thing in the role of interdependence in all human cause and action and struggle, are the crucial questions our story wishes to touch upon.


Director Speak


The people in these stories live in India and  have made the choice to move towards the new ‘global world of isolation’. These are individuals lost within their own spaces, yearning to find a branch to hold on to and yet each of these characters has a sense of moving on.


This is a film about choices we make in our personal lives where no one is to blame but us.  My story is not sad or happy. It is just a reflection of us; our values as human beings, our lives, relationships and our souls. These are universal feelings of love and loneliness and the dilemmas that go with them, that will find an echo in cities around the world.


All I ever want is to depict cultures dramas of the different parts of India and then successfully make it an internationally acceptable story and with its universal appeal.


Postcards is my first feature film, a project which has faced all the perils of a first time director-producer, yet, I was able to finish my film because I believed. Hope, you believe and like what you see.

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