If you haven’t seen this 2018 digital film which you can easily locate on Zee5, you haven’t seen what Kartik Aaryan is capable of. We can safely say it is a tailormade role for the young actor, Playing a Muslim darzi in the crowded gully of what looks like Mumbai’s Haji Ali locality, Kartik is every bit Anwar, the shy sensitive tailor who develops a secret passion for his favourite client: a lonely abandoned wife Noor (Meher Mistry) whose husband has migrated to Riyadh for a job with nary a glance back for the woman he has left behind.
The focus of the passionate plot, pulsating with unspoken ardour, is Noor. But it’s Kartik’s Anwar who silently steals the show. There is no exhibition of outward passion here. And yet so much is said through Anwar’s eyes. Every stolen glance is laden with longing. When she asks if he would like a cup of tea, Anwar knows it’s just a ruse to make him stay longer than his job allows. His reply to the kind offer, ‘Maine kabhi chai ke liya naa bola hai?’ says everything without saying anything.
There is a humorous sequence between Noor and Anwar where he brings a goat to her house for a visit. Noor comments on how good the goat smells. ‘Liril se nahaya hai kya?’
This is Kartik’s only film with a female director. It is evident that he blossoms as an actor under the female gaze. I have always been fond of Tanuja Chandra’s work. She understands women, men and the dynamics that govern human relationships. In the 40 minutes of playing time in Silvat, there are a lot of unstated emotions. It as if the writers chose to leave the words out because they knew there was little time to waste here.
Tanuja Chandra whips up a muted urgency between the couple. They know their love can never be. That there can never be a Silvat (crease) on the bed as long as the husband is away.
Tanuja’s eye for detail is astute and comprehensive. The interiors of Noor’s tiny home where most of the plot unfolds is every bit what it should be, Functional, neat, desolate. The film is shot on location in a Muslim locality with streetside vendors frying parathas and malpuas, hawkers selling bangles. The bustle of the street is weighed against those heavily loaded silences between Noor and Anwar.
They know they cannot cross the wall that divides them. A married young woman dutifully waiting for her absconding husband to return home cannot give in to her emotional and physical desires. This is 1997. And riots don’t happen only on the streets. Sometimes they also occur in a woman’s lonely heart.
Image source: ZEE5
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