Desperately seeking Lakshmi
For 28-year-old filmmaker Karan Gour, Kshay was a story he desperately wanted to tell. So, despite the fact that it took him nearly four years to shoot the movie and that he had to work around a shoestring budget and with a two-man crew, Gour came up trumps.
His faith wasn’t misplaced as the film toured the globe and won awards at film festivals in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Dubai. On June 15, the movie was released at PVR cinemas across the city as part of their Director’s Rare section that screens alternative movies.
Journey on reel
“I have been wanting to make the movie since I was 24. It was a personal obsession. I wanted to film the journey of obsession from up close as it’s a universal theme and everyone experiences it at some point or the other. It’s an honest film,” says Gour, who studied sound engineering and writes for an audio-visual technology magazine. He scripted, directed, edited and composed the original soundtrack for Kshay.
Kshay revolves around the personification of an obsession through the story of Chhaya (Rasika Dugal), a simple lower middle-class housewife who has an artistic bent of mind and a seemingly happy life with her husband Arvind (Alekh Sangal). Their life turns upside down when Chhaya spots an unfinished sculpture of goddess Lakshmi (symbolic of wealth) and becomes obsessed with it. Her values and relationships begin to decay as she surrenders to the clutches of an ugly obsession.
Gour wrote the script in 2007 and shooting continued till 2011. Since money was a constraint, Gour rented a flat in Bhayander, which served as the setting throughout the movie. It also doubled up as a production studio where dubbing and editing was done. The movie is shot in black and white, which lends the movie a dark undertone. “The script had no room for colour. The characters think in black and white (extremes),” he reveals. Gour was inspired by American filmmaker David Lynch who is known for his surreal films.
Often, Gour would often immerse himself in the world he was depicting on screen. “After a point, our real life started mirroring Chhaya’s struggle; we were obsessed with the film, we were working without a deadline using limited resources,” concludes Gour.