Trijya searches for her home through poetry and fantasy

Abhay Mahajan plays a journalist in Trijya, who writes astrology chronicles (“Pisces – Who Says You Exist? Doubt Your Existence.”) and archives local Pune politics for readers. Lost, miserable, wandering, like the movie itself, he only smiles when he’s playing carrom or buzzing drunk with his friend. When he has no one to play carrom with, he plays against himself, moving from one side of the boric powder board to the other. He goes home to the village but stays in bed all day. His parents want to marry him off. He cannot understand what he wants. There’s nothing he’s running towards, nothing he wants to run towards. He wanders. He is caught by a TC on a train for not having a ticket. The TC asks him where he is going. He replies, “I went to a station, I saw a train, I got on.” The TC imposes a fine. He does not have money. He pays for his poetry.

Watching Trijya it’s like watching a Chaitanya Tamhane movie for the first time. It’s a pungent shock to the senses in a way that compels you to pay attention to the corners of a frame, the edges of a moment. Full of visual immobility and symmetry but also of emotional turbulence and internal dislocation, it is the patient genre of cinema, the one that allows its characters to walk from one point to another, without interrupting their walk, abbreviating slow, sleepy movements. It’s the kind of beauty that can move you to tears, and you won’t even know why.

Trijya seeks home through poetry and fantasy, movie mate

This does not mean that the visual and visceral world of Trijya is derived. Director Akshay Indikar, who is inspired by Yasujirō Ozu and Andrei Tarkovsky, insists on his own style, one that can only be noticed – a sexual moan, a clean cut, classic alaaps, the remote city, the sound of ghunghroos, a boom sound of a mouth timed to fireworks blooming above the city, a mighty chopping of air by windmills. Unlike Tamhane’s films, it’s not obsessed with realism, and there’s a restlessness to the narrative, with each scene not leading to the next, but stepping stones in strange directions. It’s sometimes fantastical – which is fitting given that growing up the director had wanted to be a magician – but this fantasy, which can be sleazy, silly or amazing, is disorienting. It allows us to feel the uprooted, vertiginous existence, without charm with which the character struggles. “I don’t feel at peace in my house, in my work, in my village. I am not at peace anywhere,” he tells another man, a figment of his imagination who tells him to meditate under a peepal tree, like the Buddha, like the Pashupati seal of Harappa.

Trijya seeks home through poetry and fantasy, movie mate

In Indikar’s previous film, Sthalpuran screened at the Berlinale 2020, one character notes, “The road to school is prettier than school.” trija, a German-Indian co-production, shot by Indikar and Swapnil Shete, which premiered as part of Shanghai’s Asian New Talent Award competition, is philosophically still stuck here – indifferent to destinations or responses. It is divided into chapters with banal names like “roots”, “aerial roots”, “tree”, but fortunately refuses to become mystical or instructive by proposing solutions or even possible solutions; happy to whirl in the whirlwinds of eternal boredom and indecision.

There is a burgeoning subgenre of storytelling – of lost youth, of the elusive search for home, of a generation that can only speak of roots, but never inhabit it. There is of course the airbrush, the kind that comes with desire. But the unease with the world is palpable. Shows like Nirmal Pathak Ki Ghar Wapsi complicate this idea of ​​the home as a space of effusive love but also of cultural and moral stagnation. The recently released Ghar Waapsi and BERojgaar both speak of roots as the things one inevitably turns to, after being spat out by concrete cities like Bengaluru and Pune. One of the most touching episodes of the verbose Little things It’s when Kavya returns to Nagpur to see her parents, measure the gulf between them, and swing on a rope from end to end. As James Baldwin wrote, “Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition”, and each of these characters, like many of us, yearns for a place as it s It’s actually a feeling, a heart.

Trijya seeks home through poetry and fantasy, movie mate

“Will an uprooted tree grow anywhere else?” a woman asks in Trijya, but his question is more literally existential. His house will soon be washed away by a dam. This should make the reporter’s misfortunes seem petty, intellectual, and exaggerated. He has, after all, a roof over his head, his home as a physical space. But Trijya has no patience with such hierarchies, for soon after the reporter sets out on another journey, with weary feet searching, but perfectly content not to find his home.

Trijya is streaming on MUBI.

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