Verdict: This introspective and existential space drama is sprinkled with humor.
Bankrolled by Anurag Kashyap and with Vikramaditya Motwane serving as the executive producer, Cargo is touted to be India’s first-ever spaceship sci-fi film. It features Shweta Tripathi and Vikram Massey in the lead roles and is based on a unique take on the afterlife. The film marks writer-director Arati Kadav’s feature debut.
What’s Cargo About:
Set in a time when demons and humans have found peaceful terms to co-exist, Prahastha (Vikrant Massey) is a demon who is appreciated for his long-term experience on the spaceship called Pushpak 634A. This spaceship is one of the six working for Post Death Transition Services, which helps humans transition to their next life on Earth. Prahastha’s only companion and contact with the outside world is Nitigya Sir (Nandu Madhav), his demon supervisor stationed back on Earth. As Prahastha‘s workload on the Pushpak 634A begins to pile up, he is joined by a new assistant named Yuviksha (Shweta Tripathi). The duo attempts to find the right balance while Prahastha also finds out that there’s more to the appointment of his new crew member.
Cargo is fascinatingly unusual in the sense that it’s a science fiction film with minimal frills in terms of visuals. Instead, director-writer Arati Kadav captures attention with an interesting interpretation of what the afterlife is like. She takes you through a convincing space film that’s not all about the science but driven with emotion and perfectly woven with Indian culture. The world that she builds feeds on your curiosity and it’s only made more captivating through the performances. Vikrant Massey is a recluse who is consumed by his work and Shweta Tripathi is a young and enthusiastic employee who finds that the same protocol she stands by begins to conflict with her conscience. Both characters go through their reflective journeys in a world that’s layered and brilliantly fleshed out. Throughout the film, there are also plenty of spontaneous light-hearted moments including cameos from Hansal Mehta, Biswapati Sarkar, and Konkona Sen Sharma. Ultimately, Cargo is imaginative and totally unique, which is why it’s the kind of film you’ll find yourself talking about much after you’ve left the theatre.
What Could’ve Been Better:
Arati Kadav builds her world scene by scene and event by event, which can make Cargo a slow-paced watch. However, even though the plot is stretched out, you’ll find yourself invested as it keeps you curious to know more.
Why You Should Watch:
Cargo takes you through an interesting and introspective journey with entertaining bits of humor sprinkled throughout. It’s an Indian sci-fi film unlike any you’ve seen before.