Arrey Baba

Little Devika has a problem her father may not understand. Does she miss having a mother?
by Surya Balakrishnan
5 Min / India

IndianBed Time StoriesDramaFamily


A father picks up his daughter from school and they walk home. She is in a bad mood and her father tries to talk her out of it. The girl is confused, scared and a little angry with her father for not understanding her problem immediately.
They walk home and talk, and the gentle rhythm of their conversation carry the film. But there is a third person missing in their back and forth, a weight and shape made sharper by an absence, and in the way both of them avoid mentioning it aloud until the end. The way the father, played by the amazing Girish Kulkarni (Deol, Ugly) narrates his entire work day for her is like a husband would to a wife and the look on his face when he asks her if she misses her mother is heart-breaking. He might in his ineffectual way try to protect his daughter, but the daughter tries to do the same for him in the end.

The film is shot almost completely in one long, nearly invisible single take as the two walk home, which add to the sparseness and directness of the film. Both the performances are superb, and the whole film feels very layered and complex in its simplicity.