What is it that goes into an act or lack of action of ours to make it ethical? Is it grace and grit under pressure or detachment in front of the lucre and lure? Or, is it something that forms or ought to form the very stuff of our everyday life and actions?
Sudevan’s new film Crime No 89 ponders and elaborates upon some of these questions, and explores the various dimensions of both the fragility and resilience of the ethical positions we seem to take but often surprisingly find ourselves in.
Woven around a simple plot, the film takes an intensely introspective look at ourselves and at society. Weaving together the actions, lack of action, and reactions of an array of characters from our everyday surroundings who are brought together by an unexpected turn of events, the film brings into play diverging worldviews that unravel the moral timbre of our life and times.
Like all of his other films, the events in this film too unfold in an ordinary village. card.
It is into this idyllic setting that two people enter in a jeep carrying some goods. They are passing through this village as they are forced to take a diversion from the highway. They are tense and impatient about reaching their destination. But their vehicle develops a hitch and comes to a sudden halt in the middle of a deserted plantation road. They desperately need to repair their vehicle to complete their mysterious mission. They coax a reluctant mechanic to come mend the vehicle. Though it needs only a small replacement to get the vehicle moving, things do not unfold according to their plan. In a way, this film elaborates upon the thematic concerns of his earlier films like Randu and Planning which were also about the moral dilemmas that haunt our lives.
The film was funded through contributions from various friends and admirers of his earlier films from around the world. “It is my spectators who made this film possible; the money they gave came without any strings or conditions, so I am all the more concerned about what I give back to them. In this film too, my effort has been to live up to their confidence in me,” says Sudevan.