Tushar Paranjape
Story & Screenplay

Upendra Sidhaye

Movie Review
Killa:A trip to the castle named childhood

KILLA: A trip to the castle named childhood


There shouldn’t be any doubts in anyone’s mind that non-Hindi (or the regional language) films; give the mainstream Hindi films a run for their money when it comes to content. In fact, at the time of National Film Awards, almost every year, the titles of the regional films are called out more often than Hindi films. A true cinema lover can only dive in the diversity and deftness of such regional films to get rewarded with soul-stirring cinematic experiences.


The recent Marathi children-film Killa, directed by the debutant cinematographer-turned-director Avinash Arun, is an addition into the list of films which can boast of having won a national award. It was 2014’s Best Marathi film, which in turn came after it had been selected for the 64th Berlin International Film Festival where it won the Crystal Bear award in the Generation KPlus Selection. Well, can safely say it’s not a case of much ado about nothing.  


Killa, a coming-of-age drama film, is the story of an 11 years old boy Chinmay (Archit Deodhar) who moves from Pune to a coastal village in the Konkan region of Maharashtra, following the transfer of his mother (Amruta Subhash) who is a government employee. Chinmay isn’t okay with this relocation. He doesn’t like shifting to new places every now and then and having to go through the entire drill of making himself comfortable with the new surroundings. He’s also not okay with the rather recent death of his father (but isn’t fully aware of this trauma which eats him from inside).


Our bright and studious kid joins a local school where he’s reluctant to form new bonds with his mates. However, the child in him gives up his own doggedness and gradually, Chinu befriends Yuvraj (Gaurish Gawde) - the rich lad, Bandya (Parth Bhalerao) - the funny one and Omkar (Atharva Upasni). The story follows the central character to different places, like school, household, neighborhood etc. with this bunch of boys as the somewhat restrained plot weaves a tender tale of growing up and coming to terms with one’s grudges. There is also a sub-plot of the mother bumping into an unexpected hiccup at her workplace which adds itself to this episode in Chinmay’s childhood, in the final moments. The screenplay (story & screenplay by Tushar Paranjape) isn’t overly dramatic yet eventful enough to keep you engaged. It finds greats success in pinning organically to the plot an array of childhood memories which anybody would relate to. It never tries to become an exceptional tale of incomparable events while relying on the experiential quality of the scenes. Dialogues, by Upendra Sidhaye, are the icing on the cake.


The film actually works for its depiction of nostalgic moments, aided by naturalistic acting - thanks to a fine casting by Omkar Achyut Barve - and brilliant, brilliant cinematography by Avinash Arun himself. A special mention to Parth Bhalerao, as Bandya, is a must here – he’s a treat to watch!  The editing by Charu Shree Roy and the background score by Naren Chandavarkar and Benedict Taylor, are also both superlative.


Killa is a film you’d not want to miss if you like the idea of revisiting one's childhood. Go, take this trip.

   Dinkar Sharma

Dinkar Sharma is a Screenwriter. His first feature film Second Marriage Dot Com was released in 2012. He can be contacted via his Facebook profile:. https://www.facebook.com/imdinkarsharma.

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