Employing the classic horror tropes of stranded hitchhikers and suspect Samaritans, this road movie maps out the harrowing dynamics of power and violence.
A couple on the run bears the agonising brunt of a night out from a gang of small-time hoodlums. Tossed between shady Samaritans along their sole escape route, Durga and Kabeer are subject to relentless reenactments of the proverb, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”.
Interspersed with observations on the traditional rituals of Garudan Thookam, the film casts the everyday normalisation of brutality towards women against the reverent worship of feminine goddesses in Kerala, India. As the delineation between do-gooders and hostage-takers get increasingly uneasy, the film’s fixation on illuminating the sway of power, politics and patriarchy grows clearer. Riding on distressingly lengthy shots with an improvisational and repetitive nature of the dialogue, this protracted psycho-thriller makes for a drive towards an unsettling finale.
Cast & Credits
Sanal Kumar Sasidharan was awarded the Hivor Tiger Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam for Sexy Durga, the first Indian and Malayalam film to do so. His previous film, An Off-Day Game (2015), was given the FIPRESCI Award for Best Malayalam Film at the International Film Festival of Kerala. Sexy Durga is his third feature.
Sanal Kumar Sasidharan
Rajshree Deshpande, Kannan Nayar, Sujeesh K S
• Tiger Award, Rotterdam International Film Festival 2017
• Golden Apricot, Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival 2017
• In-competition, Edinburg International Film Festival 2017