Can obsession corrode everything around you? Debut director Karan Gour talks about exploring this idea in ‘Kshay'

For most of us, watching black and white movies is an opportunity to get a feel of a golden era. Old timers often point out the striking quality of black and white cinematography in Guru Dutt's Chaudhvin ka Chand. Some of us make the effort to learn techniques of black and white photography. But how many filmmakers realise that the shift from black and white to colour in cinema need not be a death knell to black and white? “You have a choice; the choice of narrating your story in colour or black and white,” points out Karan Gour, who makes his directorial debut with the indie film Kshay, releasing on June 15. Kshay, starring Rasika Dugal and Alekh Sangal, was shot completely in black and white because Karan felt that “the story and the narration had no room for colour.”

Kshay (or Corrode) has been made like most other indie films — with a lot of passion and very little money pooled in from family and friends. Produced by Karan Gour and Shaan Vyas, the film deals with obsession. Chaya, a housewife, yearns for an unfinished idol of Goddess Lakshmi, priced at Rs. 15000, way beyond her means. Her obsession corrodes everything around her. Obsession is a metaphor and Karan allows viewers to draw their own inferences. “Some feel it reflects the obsession with idol worship; the way people struggle to make ends meet but spend huge sums of money for the Ganesh festival. Others feel it reveals the obsession with art or money,” says Karan.

Kshay is mainly the work of two men — Karan and his friend Abhinay Khoparzi. Karan wrote, directed, composed music and handled sound recording while Abhinay took care of visual effects and cinematography. Most portions of the film were shot inside an apartment, which helped cut down the cost. Acquiring permissions for outdoor shots would have cost a bomb, which Karan and Abhinay avoided by shooting with hidden cameras. “We didn't have money, but we had a lot of time since we weren't working against a deadline. A lot of work we did during the making of the film was not creative. We did all the running around ourselves,” says Karan. Kshay was planned way back in 2007.

As with most indie films, the team has had special screenings for friends to spread the word and a lot of appreciation came its way from international film festivals — Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (Winner, Grand Jury Prize), South Asian International Film Festival, New York (Winner of Best Director), Chicago International Film Festival and Dubai International Film Festivals. The film will also compete at the forthcoming Shanghai International Film Festival.

Obsession (with an idea) has taken Karan and team places, before finally releasing in India.