Yesterday’s Past (Kalira Atita) – Review

    Satyabhaya village situated on the eastern coast of Odisha has submerged in the sea due to rising sea level. It is one of the first victims of climate change. Kalira Atita(Yesterday’s Past) is based on this true incident. Director Nila Madhab Panda has shot it at the real location.

    It is all about the journey of a mentally challenged man, Gunu, who returns to his lost village. The memories of his family, his survival instincts and his helplessness against nature are the subjects of the film. Through this very personal plot, the director tries to talk about environmental issues. The docu style and minimalistic filming add to the tension. Sometimes music becomes the only cinematic weapon. He very accurately captured the essence of rural life. Many cultural references and metaphors are well integrated.

    Pitobash Tripathy, who played the character of Gunu, did a fantastic job. He keeps you invested throughout the film, both physically and internally. This is a one character movie, so it is very difficult for both the actor and director to keep it engaging. But Kalira Atita keeps you connected successfully .

    The environmental aesthetics are well presented. It has a surreal and hunting feel to it. The tubewell in the sea plays one of the most important parts in the movie. It is the highlight of the movie. It shoots in such a way that nothing looks staged. It feels more abstract and instantaneous. It is a well made cinematic expression about climate change. But it is not fair to limit this film to climate change only. I think it also talks about the issue of identity and the fear of the extinction of mankind.

    Though Odisha is a land of rich literature, yet Odia cinema has lagged behind, both commercially and in quality. With so many OTT platforms and TV channels, I think we will see more rich Odia movies in the future. A good theatrical release of this type of film is still out of reach but I think that will change soon. It is great to see Nila Madhab Panda making this film in Oriya. Mrinal Sen made an Odia film Matira Manisha in 1966. Year after year many talented people came and worked in the Odia film industry. I hope this is the right time for people to come together and make some good Odia films. From Oscars to IFFI to National Film Awards, the recognition it has received both internationally and nationally is indeed a very good sign for the makers.

    Kalira Atita (Yesterday’s Past) is thought-provoking and a well-made film with good intentions. It is a must-watch, regardless of your language and country.

    About the author

    Ajit has had a passion for movies since he was a child. As a screenwriter, he has written scripts for films and television series. Aside from films, he enjoys travelling. You can follow him on twitter @ajit1113

    Latest articles

    Related articles

    Leave a reply

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here