The sky opens with a pristine blueness. ‘Discover. Invent. Emotions.’ not just refers to DIE Movies which had produced the movie under the banner Mlottoab Productions. The three words describe Sita On The Road as a whole… the emotions that the five characters carry through their lives — Kalpika Ganesh, Gayatri Gupta, Khatera Hakima, Nesa Farhadi and Uma Lingaiah.
From being vulnerable to circumstances, they search for a new way to reinvent themselves and discover the beauty outside. All hail from different socio-cultural backgrounds and eventually meet at the crossroads.
The movie sets off with Kalpika Ganesh’s narrative in the background just to give the premise to audiences. “A story where many unforgettable memories have caressed me. The land, the sky, the rain and the wind all stood by me. Like birds flying beyond inhibitions, a story where I discovered myself. A story of friendships. A story that comes out of silence, sadness and despair.”
Kalpika’s character always wanted to be a choreographer, the passion that was kindled in her when she young. But her parents didn’t want her to take the route. She feels cheated by her boyfriend. The tears leave dry streaks as she accepts a stranger on the bed, unwillingly, only to write off the past.
Khatera Hakimi, an already established model who wants to make it big in the glamour industry, is another character in the movie who is susceptible to the male-dominated industry. If at all she wants to stay longer in the industry, she has to endure the sexual advances she receives from people. Director Praneeth Yaron tried to show how the casting couch is subterraneously prevalent in various forms.
Gayatri Gupta’s character, who is stuck in the quagmire of married life, feels alienated as she wants to break herself free from being a mere machine. The truth comes as a slap when her parents disown her rather than giving her the support needed.
Nesa Farhad, an Iranian national who visits India, gets a shock of her life when she gets sexually outraged by three men. Before leaving the country, she greets them in the prison, only to know their thoughts and feelings towards a woman. Not even a sigh of remorse is visible on their faces.
Uma Lingaiah, the daughter of an agriculture labourer, gets sold out to an unknown stranger for Rs 50,000. She manages to escape from their clutches and run for help.
How these five women unite, helping each other at various points while discovering the world outside is the story. Unwinding themselves from the troublesome past, the ladies rediscover places meeting people, helping the needy, thus finding satisfaction in whatever they do, eat and give to feel the slice of life.
Although the movie is unassumingly slow, Sita On The Road depicts the lifestyles of women from different backgrounds. The narrative with its poetic theme is not intended for regular audiences. Kalpika Ganesh and Gayatri Gupta earned their share of praise on-screen with natural acting. The music is going to stand as the highlight for the film. However breathtaking and picturesque the shots are, poor lighting would sometimes give an unpleasant experience for audiences. For vacation pictures and road films like this one, to make the continuity right, filmmakers should be doubly sure with the lighting and other parameters before getting a shot ready.