Manusangada is yet another movie made my Amshan Kumar which stresses on the point of view of a Dalit individual, the first movie being “Oruthithi” that came out back in 2003 which is based on the life of a Dalit woman and her perspectives about life.
The plot of the movie is of a Dalit, Kolappan (Amshan Kumar) who faces extreme struggles in finding a burial ground for his father, as they weren’t allowed to take the body through the public road or use the public cemetery in the village because they belonged to the “lower class”. But he fights back as much as he could until he is left hopeless.
This feature film also portrays the unreliability of the government forces and the innocence of the lower class people in a very much practical sense. The struggle to fight for justice and freedom in a free country itself is a shame.
When the protagonist receives the judgement on his favour saying that he can use the public road and when the lawyer denies his fee from Kolappan because he was aware he’s broke already, not only brings back hope for Kolappan but also for the audience that chivalry isn’t dead afterall.
And the turnabouts that happen later come as a shock, the more shocking thing is when the feeling starts sinking in that stories like this are real.
This movie is shot on a hand camera in 22 days, which seems to give the output of a documentary more than a feature film. Although the tone of this movie is melancholic, there are subtle comical dialogues in a few places that light up the scene.
It is overall a good film with a strong message conveying the prevailing voice of the underprivileged.
The movie literally does end with a cry for humanity, reflecting back on its title.
– Amrita Jeremiah