Village Rockstars is an Assamese film that was sent as India’s official nomination to the 91st Oscars. It did not get nominated in the final 5. That did not prevent it from winning a bunch of national and international awards.

It is one of the cutest movies I have seen. It tells the story of Dhunu, a girl about 10 years old who lives with her mother, and brother in a village on the banks of the river Brahmaputra. She dreams of becoming a guitarist and plays in a band with a cardboard guitar, her prized possession. This village rockstars band is formed along with her brother and his friends, and they play their rock numbers for other children of the village with an innocence that is endearing. She saves every rupee to buy a guitar, but when the floods destroy her family crops, she sacrifices the meagre saving to help out.

Do not mistake this movie to be a depressing, or even boring. Oh No! It is a movie of hope, of music, of the beauty of childhood, of growing up, of relationships and of moving on.

The delightful performance of Bhanita Das as Dhunu will remain with you long after the movie of over. The relationship of Dhunu with her mother who is a marginalised farmer is sensitively portrayed. Dhunu’s mother protects her from other judgmental women of the village allowing her to be a child and have fun. She makes sure Dhunu and her brother go to school and do not have to worry about day to day existence. She teaches Dhunu to swim, plays with her, laughs with her and teaches her life lessons.

Village Rockstars has another unique feature. The credits of the movie is incredible to read. It is written, directed, produced, and edited by Rima Das. Rima is also the cinematographer for this movie. And she has done an excellent job. Hats off to her.

Rima uses silences effectively in this movie. When the children play in the water, or take a boat ride or even simply lie down in the mud, the sounds are just as you may experience in real life. The rustling of bushes as you walk through them. or the sounds of a cycle wheel on a mud track, the sound of falling rain etc all these make you feel as if you were standing there with Dhunu. I had goosebumps in many scenes.

It is a movie with the short running time of 87 minutes but it is a movie with a large heart and makes a great impact on the viewer.

If you are a fan of loud music, melodrama, fights and histrionics and the like, then this is not for you. But if you want to feel a slice of childhood and hope, then savour this one.

I wanted to watch this film in when it was released. But unfortunately it was not released in my city here in the south. I managed to catch the movie on TV. I am glad I did!

In one scene, Dhunu asks her mother “Why do we plant all the crops if we know that the floods will destroy everything?” Then the mother replies “Because that’s all we know”. Touching……..

Here is the trailer to get you interested.

Rajeev Masand interview with the director Rima Das

The A2Z challenge 2019 is going to be all the movies that have left an impact on me someway or the other. Some have made me think. Some that I like a lot, some that I really hated. But all of them have left a memory behind which makes the movie more special than the rest. They may not be all classics or iconic but they are close to my heart.

A is for Andhadhun. B is for Bazaar. C is for Conan, the Barbarian. D is for Dushman. E is for Enter the Dragon. F is for Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them.G is for Galimathu.H is for Hidden Figures. I is for Ishq.J is for Jaane bhi do yaaron.K is for Kshana Kshanam.L is for La La Land.M is for Mirch Masala. N is for Newton.O is for Once More. P is for Preminchukundam Ra.Q is for Qurbani. R is for Roja.S is for Saudagar.T is for Terminator 2- Judgment Day.U is for Umrao Jaan.