Gunjaa is a Bhojpuri film I watched at the Jagran Film Festival. The 29-minute short film is the story of a village girl, Gunjaa who stays in Bihar with her father and mother. Her parents are poor and belong to a low caste.
This is a simple tale of how even in current times, some children miss out on basic education due to unfortunate circumstances. The film starts with Gunjaa continuously pestering her mother to let her go to school. Her father who creates arthis for cremation hasn’t been able to make ends meet lately. Gunjaa’s mother who is tired by all the pestering tells Gunjaa she’ll go to school only when someone in the village dies. And so Gunjaa starts waiting for someone to die. The earnestness with which she asks God to kill someone so that she may be able to go to school is heart-wrenching.
Director Mrinal Dev gives us a simple yet powerful film, which manages to touch the heart. The narrative and the raw appeal of the movie gives this short film a rustic flavor. The audience is taken through Gunjaa‘s struggle and her parents’ plight as they struggle to give their only child the thing she wants the most – an education. With hues of casteism, the story progresses to show us the sad reality that still plagues rural India.
The heroine of the film is Ishu Kumari who gives a heart-warming performance. Her parents played by Yashwardhan Singh and Sanjana Shah deliver a moving performance too.
You should try and catch the film at film festivals and we assure you’ll leave with a smile on your face, just like I did.