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The Adamant Girl

Kottukkaali
by Vinothraj PS
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Two Indian families are planning the wedding of their daughter Meena and son Pandi. The trouble is: Meena is in love with someone else – what’s more, from a lower caste. The film opens when all is said and done, and the family’s will has left Meena cold. She has lapsed into a monumental silence. Her family can find just one logical explanation for this state of affairs: Meena must be possessed. Once exorcised, nothing can stand in the way of happiness. So the double family party rattles and creaks their way to see a vanquisher of demons. It is a dark tale that gradually unfolds on the side of the road. With all his senses and sharp wit, P.S. Vinothraj’s The Adamant Girl relentlessly retraces the steps of the families’ supposedly righteous violence towards Meena. Again and again, the film shows just how physical the natural order of things really is. Morality, superstition and misogyny are inextricably linked. Who owns whom here seems to have been a foregone conclusion since time immemorial. Only when Pandi realises that magic has no power over Meena, only over him, does the “natural order” fall apart. Folklore-free, hard-hitting and up close.

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