Cargo Movie Review: Stroke of genius which is futuristic and highly ambitious
Director : Arati Kadav
Genre : Sci Fi
Our rating :
Shot at a humble budget with minimal production design, 'Cargo' by writer/director Arati Kadav, which is currently streaming on Netflix, deserves a huge round of applause for its ambition and ability to think of cinema that is far beyond the comprehension and the abilities of an industry saddled with mundane song-and-dance shticks. An indie sci-fi film can only be possible when two of the most respectful and credible filmmakers of our time put their money and credentials behind it. So thank you, Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane. Besides them, the film has also been produced by Kadav herself alongwith Navin Shetty and Shlok Sharma.
The year is 2027. The story follows the account of Prahastha (Vikrant Massey), who is stationed in space as in charge of the PDTS (Post Death Transitional Services). He is sent Cargos (a term used for the dead from the Earth) everyday and his job is to absolve them of their pain, delete their memories and prepare them for rebirth. He is exasperated and frustrated through his routine. Things take a turn when he is joined by Yuvishka (Shweta Tripathi Sharma) who possesses immaculate powers of healing. Her enthusiastic, eager nature puts him off but together they set off on a journey of self-discovery.
Despite the budget constraints, the technical team put together a visual spectacle before us. Shot by Kaushal Shah, Mayur Sharma's production design ably captures the ordinary workings of individuals stuck with jobs they despise. There is an old-world charm about the film worth succumbing to. Anish John's sound design and Shezan Shaikh's original score ably propels the narrative further. Edited by Paramita Ghosh brusquely within two hours, 'Cargo' makes for an experience worth marveling at. Kadav's able writing marries Hindu mythology seamlessly into the sci-fi storytelling of the film.
Cargo is further lifted by the sincere performances of its cast. As Prahastha, Vikrant conveys confusion, isolation and loath. Shweta with her sweet, round face is innocent, naiumlve, eager and righteous. Both actors evidently prove why they are our current favourites, across all formats. Equally entertaining is Nandu Madhav of 'Harishchandrachi Factory' fame as Nitigya, Prahastha's only point of contact from the Earth. The film also features delightful cameos by Konkona Sen Sharma, Hansal Mehta and Biswapati Sarkar.
'Cargo' deserves your attention, this weekend. Because it wasn't destined to a theatrical release. But having garnered huge appreciation at MAMI 2019, the film was set to travel across the globe, reaching various film festivals, a run that has been cut-short by the ongoing pandemic. Watch it to know that if one strives, good, innovative films from India which do not include namesake love stories and song-and-dance routines, can be highly entertaining and worth cherishing.