(IANS Review, Rating: ***1/2)
By Troy Ribeiro
Film: “Poorna”; Director: Rahul Bose; Cast: Rahul Bose, Aditi Inamdar, S Mariya, Heeba Shah, Dhritiman Chatterjee, Arif Zakaria, Rating: ***1/2
Inspired by a true story, “Poorna” is a moving tale of an ordinary tribal girl Poorna Malavath from Telangana, who braves all odds and her family’s impoverished background to become the youngest girl to scale the Mount Everest. The plot is used as an apt metaphor about girl’s scaling heights, if given a chance and displaying their mettle.
Poorna (Aditi Inamdar) along with her cousin sister Priya (S Mariya), who she loves dearly and looks upto, yearns to be educated and nurtures big dreams. She is lucky to be noticed and mentored by a sincere IPS officer Praveen Kumar (Rahul Bose) who voluntarily takes up a post in the social welfare department and champions the cause of the underdogs. How with her grit and determination, she undergoes training and climbs the Mount Everest, as a tribute to her sister, forms the crux of this film.
Director Rahul Bose adeptly wields the directorial baton after a long hiatus, as well as essays his role of a sincere government servant with aplomb, albeit in a slightly far-fetched character. The taut screenplay keeps you glued to your seat as you become a part of the struggle and dreams of the two sisters – Poorna and Priya, and laud the efforts of the latter in encouraging Poorna to study and realise her dreams, while she herself is married off at a tender age.
Well-made, the film captures the poverty of the girls, their dreams and later, Poorna’s perseverance, with panache and fills you with pride and admiration for her feat. Yet, there are some areas in the film where the director has indulged in cinematic liberty and thus, seem like a deliberate attempt at rounding off all the jagged edges.
The music by Salim-Sulaiman is brilliant and encapsulates the mood of the film. The soulful “Poori kayaanat” tugs at your heart strings, while “Kuch parbat hilayen” is inspirational.
Aditi Inamdar shines as the fragile but strong-willed Poorna, essaying her character with amazing sincerity and naturalness, making it look convincing. S Mariya as Priya is equally delightful and strikes an emotional bond with the audience. The duo and their camaraderie is a treat to watch.
Rahul Bose as Praveen Kumar is earnest and effortless. Heeba Shah as an official in a no-nonsense and stern avatar and Dhritiman Chatterjee in an insignificant role, are wasted. Arif Zakaria too goes unnoticed. The other actors in fact support them ably and are aptly cast as they lend a natural flavour to their characters.
The highlight of the film is easily the cinematography by Subhransu Das whose lens captures the penury of Poorna’s home and surroundings in Telangana, as well as the glorious snow-capped mountains with equal candour.
The film is a sincere attempt at recreating Poorna Malavath’s historic feat and conveying the message of empowering the girl child.