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Review: Bakrid

Film: Bakrid
Director: Jagadeesan Subbu
Cast: Vikranth, Vasundhara Kashyap, Rohit Pathak and others
Music Director: D Imman
Rating: 4 stars

Jagadeesan Subbu, who started off his film career as an assistant cameraman to Vijay Milton before working as an assistant director to Kaaka Muttai Manikandan, makes a sparkling debut with Bakrid, a movie that will easily go on to make it to the list of this year’s finest films.

Bakrid is refreshing in more ways than one. But first and foremost, it stands out for the message it seeks to send across. It highlights the significance of empathy and shows that compassion and kindness have nothing to do with the social stature and wealth of an individual.

The film will also go down the annals of history for actor Vikranth’s outstanding performance in it. This is easily Vikranth’s finest performance till date and is sure to be remembered for a very long time to come.

Vasundhara Kashyap, yet another immensely talented actress who hasn’t got her due until now, makes a brilliant comeback with Bakrid.

A cute little girl, Shruthika, who plays Vikranth and Vasundhara’s daughter in the film, steals the show. Together, Vikranth, Vasundhara and Shrutika make this film a heart stealer.

The story revolves around Rathnam (Vikranth), a poor farmer who leads a simple but happy life with his wife Geetha (Vasundhara) and eight-year-old daughter (Shrutika).

Rathnam has a piece of land that has been bequeathed to him by his father. However, he has no water to cultivate the crops on his land as the well that was on the property has now gone to his brother after partition. Repeated crop failures have rendered him penniless.

While his brother is looking to sell off his share of the land, Rathnam is someone who is passionate about farming and refuses to give up the profession of his father.

With no money to invest, he is forced to take a loan from the bank. However, to sanction a loan, the bank demands that he show them proof that he has tended to his fields and that he has enough water resources to ensure a good crop. Left with no other alternative but to dig a borewell, Rathnam looks for private money lenders who will lend him Rs 50,000 to dig a borewell.

A friend takes him to a wealthy Muslim trader.It is the time of the Muslim festival of Bakrid and the trader who has ordered a camel to prepare the Bakrid feast for his friends finds himself in a dilemma when the truck driver offloads not one camel but two.

The trader soon finds out from the truck driver that second camel is the young calf of the first one. Unsure what to do with the calf, the trader is in a dilemma. He cannot butcher the mother when the calf is looking on. When Rathnam, who is there to plead for a loan, sees this, he is moved to pity. He says he will take the young calf with him and take care of it.

The trader, who initially says he does not have money to lend to Rathnam, is impressed by the kindness of Rathnam. He lends him a lakh and gives the calf to him. Rathnam brings the camel calf home, much to the delight of his young daughter. She lovingly names him Sara — short for Sarangan.

Rathnam does not know what to feed Sara and he tries feeding it all that he feeds his cattle. Eventually, he finds out what Sara likes and begins to feed it. Almost a year passes and Sara begins to love the family as his own. One day, he falls ill. A worried Rathnam gets him examined by the vet, who points out that this is not his natural habitat and that if Rathnam wants him to have a healthy, happy life, he will have to take him back to his natural habitat which is the desert.

Rathnam and Geetha decide that Sara’s well being is more important than their happiness and so, Rathnam decides to send Sara back to Rajasthan. Truck drivers refuse to take the animal because they say a lot of problems are involved in transporting an animal. Some who are willing demand huge sums. Rathnam does not have that kind of money. Finally, he finds a truck driver (Rohit Pathak) who agrees to transport the animal back to Rajasthan. However, little does Rathnam know that the truck driver along with his cleaner plan to sell the animal to butchers and thereby make a huge profit.

When Rathnam tries to goad Sara into the truck, he refuses to enter. The animal has grown so fond of Rathnam that it will not go anywhere without him. Therefore, Rathnam is forced to accompany Sara. What happens then is what Bakrid is all about.

The film is an endearing one and the story is told in a simple, straightforward fashion, making the impact more profound. By the time the film ends, you are happy for Sara and relieved that people like Rathnam still exist in society.

The film is realistic from start to finish.There are no exaggerations, no artificial sequences, no commercial elements to bolster its performance at the box office and yet, one can say with confidence that this film will do exceedingly well at the box office for the message it looks to send across is that impressive, convincing and necessary for society.

The film is not just about kindness to animals and how animals are just as capable as humans when it comes to reciprocating kindness and affection. It also deals with a number of issues that need attention. For instance, there is a sequence in the film in which the young child, after returning from school, demands that she wants a popular brand of chips to eat from her father.

The father knows that these chips packets are harmful to his child. So, he tries convincing her to try burfi, a local sweet made using groundnuts and jaggery. The child is adamant that she wants only this popular brand of chips.

To keep her happy, he buys it for her. But then, he distracts her by playing with her and makes her forget about the chips packet he’s bought for her. He silently passes the packet to his wife who then saves it in a box that contains several other such packets which the child has demanded.

The manner in which the whole sequence is showcased is brilliant. On the one hand, it sends out a warning to people about the dangers associated with consuming certain processed foods and at the same time, imparts a lesson in good parenting.

A special round of applause for director Jagadeesan Subbu, who also highlights the difficulties of farmers today. The film, in a non-preachy way, beautifully shows how farmers take good care of all life forms around them.

The film has an excellent background score and some really meaningful numbers set to tune by D Imman.

On the whole, Bakrid is a clean, meaningful, family entertainer that cannot be missed.

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