"Here's the smell of blood still. All perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand."
- Lady Macbeth (Act V, Scene 1)
Guilt is a powerful emotion that can haunt you relentlessly. Even if you escape from the so-called accountability, fear that arises from that guilt can consume you. Thus guilt would itself become the punishment (Hello Georgekutty!).
Inmai, the seventh episode of the Netflix's Navarasa anthology created by Mani Ratnam and Jayendra Panchapakesan, craftily invokes Bhaya rasa — the emotion of Fear.
It moulds an unsettling tale of interrogation of the sinner and ironically that trial ends in a punishment that is believed to be the biggest sin.
The segment tells the story of Wahida (Parvathy) who is one day visited by a stranger called Farooq (Siddharth). Initial frames of flirtation and sensuality go for a toss when the stranger starts questioning Wahida’s reality.
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As Parvathy rightfully pointed out during an interview, the word Inmai has “the most peculiar meaning that has another story altogether to be told”. It means devoid of/ without/ lack of, but in Tamil, it is not a complete word in itself. It is always used after a word and cannot stand alone on its own. Hence the title itself piques the curiosity of the audience.
Inmai has done a wonderful job in capturing the attention of the viewer. A close-up frame of Parvathy going through various emotions within a short period of time is a joy to watch. Sinister-looking frames featuring Siddharth is sure to give you chills. The story has some major plot twists that made me go from “Oh!” to “Oh no!” to “Oh Wow!”.
Inmai is written and directed by Rathindran R Prasad. The short film features Siddharth, Parvathy Thiruvothu, Ammu Abhirami, Pavel Navageethan, Sheimour Roosevelt and R Vadivelu who have given stellar performances. Cinematography by Viraj Sinh Gohil will sometimes purposefully push you in and out of focus to take you through past and present like the whiplash Wahida is experiencing. Music by Vishal Bhardwaj creates an unnerving atmosphere by blending the scene with poetries of Rumi and Ilango Adigal. There is a particular scene where a frame on Siddharth changes colour during a plot twist, which reminded me of the brilliance of editor Anand Geraldin.
Give it a watch, you won’t be disappointed. By the way, what do you pour first? Milk or tea?
Navarasa is now streaming on Netflix.