Verdict: A deep dive into creative waters, this bold film explores and pushes the limits of artistic perfection.
CRD released to rave reviews in the US last year, with censorship troubles delaying the release here in India. It's finally out this week, on Sept. 29. The critically acclaimed film is directed by Kranti Kanade who also wrote it with Dharmakirti Sumant. Kranti has made numerous short films (Chaitra, Idol, She), as well as a few feature films (most notably Mahek), winning a handful of awards in the process. His latest feature, CRD, has managed to break quite a few norms.
So, what is CRD about? In the director's own words, "CRD is about how competition and the urge to win at any cost has permeated the space of arts, and performing arts, in particular." Definitely. It probes fascism and fierce competition in arts. Simply put, the film is all about the art of acting, while diving into its fathomless depths.
The film involves young people competing to win a prestigious theatre competition. Our titular character, Chetan Ranjit Deshmukh (Saurabh Saraswat), is an ambitious writer who joins his theater class in his college, where he meets Persis (Mrinmayee Godbole) who eventually turns into his love interest. The class, however, is run by Mayank (Vinay Sharma), a tyrannical instructor, whose acting exercises can be counted as abuse – both psychological and sexual. His provocative methods force Chetan to depart the team and make his own play. The ambitious one struggles to form a team, before Netra (Abhay Mahajan) and Dipti (Isha Keskar) come on board.
From there on, the film is replete with ridiculous humor, erratic and erotic scenes, animation, movie references, dual roles and more. Did i mention how bold the film is? While I cannot prove it myself, something tells me that it has traces of being a meta-film. This technically sound film is shot entirely in Pune and has its visuals spot on, with some trippy elements too. The score is as unique as it gets and features a tiny snippet of a Bonobo song too (brownie points for the same). Right up to the final third, the film is fast-paced owing to its swift screenplay with raw cuts. While the film revolves around theater, it manages to be highly cinematic.
All the actors in this film are true artists. With brilliant performances by all, who would've guessed Saurabh is a newcomer? And he isn't the only one. As an artist, you may ask yourself, how far are you willing to go? How many boundaries are you ready to cross, to push the limits of artistic perfection? What kind of artistic impulses are okay to be acted upon? And those answers don't come along easily.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
Watch it if you're up for some artistic brilliance. Even those who are not into 'art films' have a lot to take away from it. If you're an artist, this will not only relate to you but also open your eyes.