Review of “Kia and Cosmos” – Special story of a special kid
Director – Sudipto Roy
Cast – Ritwika Pal, Swastika Mukherjee, Joy Sengupta, Sraman Chatterjee, Zahid Hossain
Overall Rating – 4/5
Some movies are made purely for the creative satisfaction of the film maker without considering film making as a business, Kia and Cosmos by debutante director Sudipto Roy is one such personal film. He has not made any kind of compromises to make it more appealing in terms of business, his only focus is to narrate a story close to his heart.
The film is about a 15 year old girl Kia (Ritwika Pal), suffering from pervasive developmental disorders (although the film never mention it and it has been conveyed smartly through the behavior of the character). She is a genius student who loves doing mathematics and solving puzzles. She do not talk much but express all her feelings through writing a diary. She lives with her single mother Dia (Swastika Mukherjee) after her father Kabir’s (Joy Sengupta) death. She do not interact much with people except for her teacher Souvik (Sahid Hossain) and the Riksha puller Rabi (Sraman Chatterjee) who is assigned to drop and pick her from school. She used to be closer to her father who used to inspire her to pursue music. She loves her mother but feels irritated for her aggressive nature. She also loves detective stories and have some detective instincts as well. So when her favorite neighborhood cat Cosmos which was pregnant died, her instincts told her there is something mysterious about it. According to her gut feelings, it is not a natural death and someone must have killed her. She decides to investigate the matter on her own in spite of forbidden by her mother. Although she gets encouraged by Souvik and Rabi. Her investigation leads her to a shocking truth which is much more important for her life than the casual death of a cat.
The best thing about the story, written by director Sudipto Roy himself, is that it has touched upon a lot of things without making it complicated. It is one emotional drama about a mother daughter bonding, it is also a whodunit thriller for some parts, at the same time it is a coming of age story of a young girl. The good thing is that the plot revolves around a special child but it never asks for any sympathy for her. Also not for a single moment the story tries to be emotionally manipulative taking advantage of the shortcomings of the protagonist. In fact the story’s charm would have been the same even if its central character would not be a person having autism syndrome. Although the pace is little slow and the non-linear narrative is confusing in some parts, but these are some minor issues which can be ignored. The only major problem with the screenplay is the climax which has been dragged too much and it is also very unrealistic which affects the good impression that the film had created so far.
Director Sudipto Roy has made an excellent debut and kudos to him for choosing such an unusual subject for his debut film. The whole cast and crew has provided him full support to visualize his dream on big screen. Aditya Varma’s cinematography is exceptionally well. The way he has captured the interiors of the house where Kia lives with her mother is commendable. Same can be said for Abhinav Agnihotri’s sound design which has captured the ambiance very well. Neel Adhikary’s music is refreshing and goes well with the script.
Every single member in the cast is in good form. Joy Sengupta, Zahid Hossain and Sraman Chatterjee are impressive in their little scope. Specially Sraman Chatterjee as rikshawala Rabi has portrayed the character with such authenticity that one cant overlook him. But definitely the show stealers are the two leading ladies Swastika Mukherjee and debutante Ritwika Pal. Swastika’s character Dia is a single mother of a teenage girl who needs special care. Dia is tired of taking the responsibilities but she is not completely broken, She is strong enough to face her struggles. At one point she shouts to her daughter on the other point she showers love to her after realising her mistake. The character goes through a various range of expressions that have been presented wonderfully on screen by Swastika. She is a powerhouse of talent and Sudipto Roy has extracted that very well. Ritwika Pal is one of the best discovery in recent past. She has probably chosen the toughest possible character of her career for her debut and she has successfully managed to pull it off. One must praise her for showing courage for making this tough choice for her debut. From beginning to end she is Kia and you can not see Ritwika in her performance for a single moment. Her performance is so much convincing that it is tough to believe that she is not a girl having PDD in real life and she is just acting.
On a whole Kia and Cosmos is an earnest effort from a talented cast and crew. It deserves a watch to encourage directors like Sudipto Roy who dares to take risk to make good quality cinema.