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writing & narrative

So this is one of the first avant garde movies I've seen, and one of the few Kannada movies as well, and I had a lot of thoughts concerning the movie. I am told this was a movie with a very limited budget, and for what it is, it's an amazing piece. I love how the movie begins and ends, and I love the adventurous use of fantastical elements to further the plot. It was sometimes hard to know just how all-powerful and all-seeing the reporter, and the company behind him, was, but that only added to the messaging of the movie, and to the relatability of experiencing similar powers in our lives. The sound was very simple, yet very horror-evocative, very cool. The actors were strangely wooden, but that wasn't too big a deal, one might even see them more easily as puppets because of it, but here we are approaching my main criticism of the movie. There are two stories in this movie, one is that of the exhibits, the past they're escaping, the future they're trying to create, and the other is of the reporter and the company behind him and the game they orchestrate, to fulfill their desires. But the movie also only has one story, the latter, in that, as even other commenters have noted, the exhibits' stories seem to be more or less superfluous to the "actual" story. And I think this is a contradiction the movie is never really able to surpass. On the one hand, we have stories of the exhibits in great details, scenes of incredibly personal natures, and scenes of mundanity, of simply being around each other. These scenes take up a majority of the runtime of the movie and to me it seems that some effort was made in making these characters "understandable" or relatable (as human, but also as people, individuals), giving them agency, centering them as categorically real people with real lives in a story about their manipulation. Yet, on the other hand, the plot surrounding them seems messy, unreal, meaningless. At so many points in the narrative, these exhibits seem to have knowledge they should not, identifying clothes they should not know about, when such clothes don't even exist, knowing facets of the other's past they should know nothing about before being acted out, and which are sometimes remarked upon only after the fact. Here it seems to me that the movie is intent on removing all agency from the exhibits, in making them fully puppets, that are not even conscious, especially of the things they themselves have knowledge of. Their stories are seemingly completely arbitrary in the language of the movie, in that their narratives are seen as more or less unimportant, irrelevant, placeholder (the term I'm thinking of is "fungible", in that the movie does not require these exhibits to make it's point, but only any set of exhibits, with any legible past). The movie then simultaneously wants to see their stories as relevant (as in the first point) and not (as in the second), and I think this contradiction is to the movie's detriment. I would love to hear the reader's thoughts on this matter. In my view, this movie could have gone in one of two directions, either a movie with both the drama-thriller elements of the couple's stories and the ironic-nihilist plot of the company, or a movie which limited the exhibits' stories to only the required, only that which made sense in the text, to focus on the company's plot. It falls short of either. Beyond this, the latter plot itself was incredible, and incredibly relevant today. There were also some really evocative camera shots in the movie, ones which were sort of anxiety inducing. As to the elements of loss-of-control, of manipulation, and of a certain vision of corporate power, I think they all spoke very well for themselves. I did also have a minor gripe in that the environment protests were entirely conflated by the movie (and not just the company) with the MLA who "instigated" them. That is not how protests work irl after all. The separate elements of the exhibits' plots, those involving domestic violence and objectification and religion and sexuality, I think those worked as separate, individual elements as well. Overall, the movie was a great watch, and I'd love to see more from the director.


direction & acting

Ramchandra P. N. with this film breaks away from all that the traditional world believes what a cinema is or rather how a cinema should precious be or look like and yet he successfully creates something that is a cinema. As an audience if one is aware of the developments that are happening around him in todays world, then this film makes many sense to him. The film maker carefully touches a wide variety of subjects that are interwoven in every individuals day to day life. The film distinctly demonstrates how the modern world has be taken over by insatiable capitalists to the point where each and every move on the individual in a society is decided and led by a group of corporates to their benefits. If the civil society continues to sleep as it has been for sometime now, the world around us would instantly disappear the way the hills in the film have. The film is extremely engaging and both the actors have done justice to the roles. That said, when the actors are enacting the scenes without actually engaging in the act, they need to be aware of the situation and their actions. E.g. in one of the scenes the lady is enacting the act of intercourse and has already been undressed by the male actor(The female actor knows this action has been enacted and captured.), yet she becomes conscious of the dress which she is wearing and tries to place it right. In such circumstances not only acting but presence of mind is in addition required. Briefly, it is a commendable effort and a genuine piece of cinema. Naveen Sunag London


writing & narrative

With the arresting voice-over that begins "Bunnu K. Endo Maye", we realise we're in a world that is chaotic but, more importantly, intractable. Imagine sitting through a zoom meeting, waiting for the speaker's voice--at times extended, at times frozen, at times garbled--reach you on the other side, thanks to an 'unstable' WiFi connection. You are tied to that space in internet space-time because you are working from home. You cannot extricate yourself from the profusion of irritable disturbances; your voice does not carry over seamlessly either. It is this instability, these disturbances in the air, in conversation, in relationships that test endurance and make things happen. The only act left to be done in the face of disturbance is to continually fight a losing battle. "Bunnu K. Endo Maye” brings to the fore this inevitability of confrontation that is hard to see in films. Let me explain myself. When I first saw the two actors on screen, after their characters are introduced conspicuously through their absence, I thought to myself: Why isn’t there any chemistry between the actors? Why are they so delayed in their thinking, incapable of registering the sense of disappointment with the facilities they’ve received? Even if not that, they could have at least shown fear in being held hostage within four walls. Soon I realised that the film isn’t really about two characters. True, Vinnay Vishwa who plays Subject 2 takes on many other roles in the later half of the movie, but the movie seems to be only about one character. The shattering of Chittra’s wonderfully executed Subject 1 is the sum and substance of this film. We see her progress from intimacy to destruction of the other (i.e. Subject 2). Right at the outset Chittra carefully props up for us the irritable familiarity that intimacy brings with it. When she is chastising her lover, for instance, we see an intimacy that is old and firmly established. As the narrative progresses, we see how it becomes necessary for her to become more romantic, in contrast to the realistic. She has to say that she is no longer bisexual ever since she met her, as if desire can ever be short circuited. I see this through a series of re-enactments of the various traumatic experiences she wants to escape from. She is the one who chooses to stay inside the house when they are given the choice to leave, twice. She does not want to live in a world where the past can catch up with her. So, what happens when you are hermetically sealed from your past? You confront your present. But, the present is a world of many dangers. Knowledge you’ve been ignorant of comes to face you, and you choose to work with it: either confront it, or repress it and don't mind it. Here we see the spectacular staging of the confrontation that ends in the tragic demise of Subject 1. The film demonstrates for us how confrontation kills our sense of self that we strive so much to protect. Though the film ends in a dejected note, that this vicious cycle keeps going on, I see hope in the death--that there is a survival beyond the destruction. Who wants to live in such a house anyway? It is marvellous to see this kind of filmmaking: works that inspire in the audiences the claustrophobic nature of our lives. How do we convince ourselves that we continuously make choices when we are also conscious of decisions having already been made for us? Far from being cynical, I choose to see the film as a call to awareness.



Hi friends, welcome to the screening. It gives me immense pleasure to show you this latest movie of mine called 'The Maya of Bunnu K. Endo (Bunnu K. Endo Maye)'. You are welcome to comment, question and participate in the conversation about the movie. Thanks.

 Ramchandra PN  Filmmaker


Welcome everyone! For those who are just joining us - This is the dedicated discussion space for 'The Maya of Bunnu K Endo'. We have some exciting content around the film coming your way - including Video Essays, Write-ups, Interviews of the filmmakers on our Conversations series - SLUGLINE - and also scheduled is ICH LIVE - Q &A with the team of 'Maya' which will be announced shortly. So do share your comments, observations and questions on the film here, and the filmmakers will respond to them in ICH LIVE Q &A.

 anantha  Moderator