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Maithili film Lotus Blooms contains the sweetness of Mamta in the bitter juice of reality

There are crores of such families in Africa, South America, South-East Asia and the Indian subcontinent, who, under compulsion, separate a piece of the liver from themselves. ‘Lotus Blooms’ is the story of every such deprived society. That’s why it has a global appeal like Majidi’s films.

Cinema is the reflection of the society, because it presents our emotions in individual and collective form. On the one hand, masala films are entertainment-oriented, while on the other hand, realistic films depict the bitter truth of human life with roughness. Bitter also has a juice.

Pratik Sharma’s Maithili film Lotus Blooms contains the sweetness of Mamta in the bitter juice of reality. From the point of view of literal language, Lotus Blooms may appear to be a regional film, but on testing the originality of the plot, it emerges as a film with a global appeal. How? Think of it like this.

The films of Shantaram, Ray, Fellini, De Sica, Benegal, Majidi have a commonality that their films go beyond the socio-geographical limits to underline human sensibilities and despite having a plot, are multi-layered on the basis of the message. Both these similarities are visible in Lotus Blooms directed by Prateek Sharma.

That’s why the natives of the countries of Middle-East Asia, Africa or Latin America will see the lotus blooms with the same fervor that is seen in Bihar and feel its essence with the same warmth as a Maithili speaking person. Prateek Sharma is an energetic director. After ‘Gutrun-Gutrun’, which came seven years ago, in the journey till ‘Lotus Blooms’, he has labored in mastering the cinematic craft. His progress is reflected in the elements of Lotus Blooms’s semiotics, background sound, lighting etc. His progress as a director is pleasant.

Lotus Blooms, Maithili Film, Maithili movie, Lotus Blooms movie
Prateek Sharma’s Maithili film Lotus Blooms blends the sweetness of Mamta in the bitter juice of reality.

Whether a film is in Maithili or Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, French, Italian or Russian, beyond all these verbal languages, cinema craft has its own language which is expressed through various images. Technically this is called film semiotics. The more deeply a filmmaker uses this semiotics, the more skilled a filmmaker he is considered to be. Prateek Sharma has been successful in this task to a great extent. See some examples.

First see the image, Saraswati is standing on the middle of the road after Benu leaves. The frame is horizontally divided into two parts, land in one half and sky in the other half, that is, since that framing, Saraswati’s life has been divided into two parts. A part has broken off and gone to Singapore. The second image, the middle strip of Saraswati’s drawing which Amarendra alias Dheeraj touches from top to bottom, is an indicator of his growing affection for Saraswati. Third picture, Saraswati sleeps in Amarendra’s room with a mosquito net.

Here the mosquito net is a semipermeable curtain between them, leaving little room for privacy. One night, while applying a strip of mosquito net while sleeping, Saraswati’s hand gets stuck in it for a few moments and a fistful of cleft is left to close. Later, although Amarendra closes it, the filmmaker has indicated that now the semi-permeable curtain is about to be removed. The fourth image, Saraswati carving a picture of a baby and his mother while doing a Maithili painting in the work received from Amarendra, is a reminder that Saraswati’s only goal is still to get her son Benu back.

The fifth image, the puddle and the lotus blooming in it. Filming is like a mother pond and a blossoming lotus is her son. Rest, there are Madhubani paintings on the walls or above the tiffin box, to establish the soil of Mithila. A soup pot in the shape of Sun God is hanging on the wall of Saraswati’s house. Chhath Mahaparva is also present there in a subtle form. It is these local elements that have given ‘Lotus Blooms’ its global appeal. Those who are attached to their roots must watch this film.

The story is simple but beautiful, lovely Saraswati’s husband went to work and never came back. So now she lives with her son Benu. Due to poverty, Benu missed his studies and had to be sent to Singapore for arrangement. The mother’s heart ached after listening to her son’s distress on the phone and she set aside her self-respect and started arranging money for Banu’s return. What struggles did he have to go through in managing this money? Still does Bennu come back? This is the story.

Even though the story is from a village in the Maithili region of Bihar. But, its texture is so fine that this world represents every family who, due to poverty, separates their children from themselves. There are crores of such families in Africa, South America, South-East Asia and the Indian subcontinent, who, under compulsion, separate a piece of the liver from themselves. ‘Lotus Blooms’ is the story of every such deprived society. That’s why it has a global appeal. Like Majidi’s movies.

In the role of Saraswati, the producer of this film is Asmita Sharma, who has carried the entire film on her shoulders. Since ‘Gutrun-Gutrun’ till now his acting has become more natural, though he is yet to be effortless. Asmita is completely immersed in the character of Saraswati. Struggle of a single woman, affection towards her son, then father’s strictness with the outside world for the same son, self-respect even in poverty…

He has served by mixing all these feelings together. See balance in expressions. Keeping both his palms together just before the first physical touch with Amarendra, waving his hand in the air when Benu is not there, looking at the watch…. After Asmita Sharma, Ath Sharma is average in Benu’s character. They still have more to learn. Parvez Akhtar’s performance in Baba’s character is dramatic. Akhilendra Mishra in the form of Baba’s son Amar Babu took out as much as he could from his acting toolkit.

Talking about the technical aspects, in the beginning of the film, the camera establishes the village life from a bird’s eye angle. The beige color combination of the village reinforces the reality of the story. An attempt has been made to match the color tone of mild winter. The excess of background sound seems deafening at some places. Like the scene of Saraswati sitting in the room after returning home or the scene of Saraswati standing desperate after Amarendra ran away. This should be avoided. The song ‘Baua…’ is mesmerizing. Some painting scenes with the school and Amarendra have become long, if they could have been edited, the film would have been tighter.

However, the technical side is such that there is never a possibility of an ideal situation. Original is the presentation of the plot, in which director Prateek Sharma has succeeded. Maithili cinema has not yet become market-related, despite this, many congratulations to producer Asmita Sharma, who dared to invest in it. We hope to see good films in Maithili, Bhojpuri, Magahi and Hindi from this lovely producer-director duo.

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