(am) "Siddharth" is the opening movie that was screened as the opening film in the 11th Indian Film Festival in Stuttgart on 16.07.2014. This film is inspired from a true story and was a creation of the Indo-Canadian film director Richie Mehta in 2013. The movie has highlighted some true facts that still prevail in India in spite of its economical and political development. More than the characteristics of a movie, "Siddharth" can be called as a 96 minutes documentary shot for a period of four weeks on the streets of India.
The story begins with the departure of a 12-year old boy by a bus in Delhi. The movie title is actually the protagonist of the story: Siddharth is the son of the chain-walla Mahendra who sends his son to Ludhiana for working in some factory to alleviate the financial deadlock of their family. Mahendra, his wife Suman and daughter Pinky sustains his life with the meagre earning in a slum in Delhi. Though Mahendra sends Siddharth to earn something Mahendra and Suman long for their son's return in Diwali. But Siddharth does not come back home during Diwali. After several phone calls they come to know that Siddharth went missing. The rest of the story shows how Mahendra struggles to searching his son. Will he be successful to find him?
|(c) Filmbüro Baden-Württemberg|
This movie really rings a pleading bell to all of us. Just like every parent Mahendra and Suman tried all possible ways to search their son form Ludhiana to 'Dongri', a place in Mumbai people might have hardly heard about. Mahendra could not afford to stop mending the zips, which was his only means of living in order to search for his son or to inform somebody about his abduction. A small four-walled habitat, an old working cell-phone and his extreme determination to find his son was all that he had which pushed him from one place to another. He questioned every single person whom he served by repairing zips about 'Dongri' (where all missing children were supposed to have taken to until a lady informed him about the exact location of Dongri.
Notwithstanding his poverty he never gave away his values. Yes, he was in utter need of money to travel from Delhi to Ludhiana and Mumbai but he never asked help from all. Mahendra has been shown as a very strong character who always has the hope of finding his son until he goes crazily upset on a Mumbai street claiming some other boy as his own son. In the climax of emotional breakdown Mahendra finds that even the physical attributes of Siddharth has started obliterating from his memory.
However, a poor man does not have the luxury or the flexibility to even lament for the loss of his son, he has to get back into his old daily routine to feed three starving stomachs. The chain-walla has to shout to attract people's attention just to earn few Rupees but cannot wail pouring out his agony. The smallest details that were captured in the movie actually touched the audience and made them feel being in the situation of thousand of such poverty-stricken parents who lose their children but all their efforts prove to be in vain. The silence in most of the length of the movie has been vociferously demanding the emotional support from the viewers to pacify millions of such heartbroken parents in India who have lost their children, put all their efforts to get them but in futile. The initial optimism, gradual hopelessness and unfathomable mystery of Siddharth are the elements which made this film so authentic and fabulous.