Bakrid movie cast: Vikranth, Vasundhara Kashyap
Bakrid movie director: Jagadeesan Subu
Bakrid movie rating: 2.5
Bakrid isn’t a great film but moves you in a lot of places. I get the intentions of Jagadeesan Subu, who sets out to make a straightforward innocent film. What happens when a stray camel enters into the life of a farmer has been explored on-screen beautifully. What is and isn’t real; what stories can be believed — Jagadeesan Subu keeps all of that aside and focuses on milking human emotions. Music director D Imman also ably aids the process with the background score. His music, in fact, stayed with me long after the film got over.
Rathnam (a likeable Vikranth) visits the house of a Muslim money-lender with his friend, ahead of Bakrid, where he spots a camel calf and decides to bring it home. (Of course, after his wife Geetha’s (Vasundhara Kashyap) approval on the phone.) He names the camel after his father Sarangan and calls it ‘Sara’. Meanwhile, we are shown Rathnam is in desperate need of money to resume farming.
The uneducated Rathnam doesn’t know what to feed the camel with. He tries to give whatever he offers his cattle. The camel resists. However, Rathnam’s little daughter convinces Sara. This is where Bakrid scores. You can give it to Jagadeesan Subu, who partially engages you with his earnest portrayal of characters. One such is the parental bonding between Rathnam and his daughter, which is smile-inducing. His daughter asks him for a packet of chips. Rathnam distracts her with groundnut candies. She is adamant and gets what she wants. That scene took me back to childhood. Bakrid draws energy from the effortless chemistry between its characters.
One day, Sara falls sick. A vet suggests Rathnam leave the camel in a place like Rajasthan, so that it stays healthy, adapting to a favourable weather condition. You know what happens next. It’s not easy for a compassionate Rathnam to wash hands off Sara. His face crumples with vulnerability. However, Rathnam wants to do the best for Sara and takes a trip to the north, where he gets attacked by Gau Rakshaks. They suspect Rathnam to have stolen the camel.
In the second half, the camel and Vikranth lose their way. All we see is how they suffer without each other, yet keeps running. This pretty much explains the director is also lost in his own thoughts. Because, nowhere in the middle, we get another plot of the camel saving army men. Also, a manipulative lorry driver, willing to help Rathnam, suddenly becomes a good guy. Jagadeesan Subu doesn’t want to tell you why. Bakrid raises a few questions. But doesn’t answer them.
In the first half, Rathnam and his brother don’t talk. We again don’t know why. Later, when he goes missing, the sibling takes care of Rathnam’s land. This is a nice gesture. But we don’t understand why the brother had a change of heart. There’s a laziness in writing. Because, the premise of the film, is debatable. Jagadeesan Subu doesn’t take a stand on the related issue, either. A “rational” meat-consuming person can ask: “It is okay to consume camel and what’s a big deal about it?” But to Rathnam, the camel is his second child. If you belong to the “Kondraal Paavam Thindraal Pochu” katchi, Bakrid will make no sense.
What I quite liked in the film, besides the camel, is the Tamil-speaking foreigner who offers a helping hand to Rathnam. There’s a lot of warmth in his character.
Bakrid reiterates the fact “Dakshanyam Darmasankatam”. (You end up hurting yourself if you are too empathetic). Despite its sentimental plot, Bakrid maintains the feel-good vibes throughout. The emotional high-points are captured well; though they don’t happen organically. The film becomes an easy watch and gets a tad melodramatic, succumbing to tropes.