‘Bakrid’ movie review: A human-animal relationship that needed to be more effective

Vikranth and Sara the camel deliver earnest performances, but the film falls short of making audiences connect with the duo

There’s a 2005 English film titled Duma about the relationship between a young boy and an orphaned cheetah. It beautifully narrated the “friendship” between the boy and the animal and chronicled their journey through South Africa.

With Bakrid, Jagadeesan Subu attempts something similar.

The film starts off with Rathnam (Vikranth) heading to a rural bank to apply for a loan to invest in farming. The banker is ready to give him the loan, but he needs to see some work going on — and for that, Rathnam needs money again.

Thanks to a friend, he ends up at the house of a Muslim whose family is about to celebrate Bakrid. A couple of camels arrive at the house for the festival, and the little one among them (named Sara) catches the fancy of Ratham, who decides to shepherd it home. Bakrid attempts to chronicle the unique friendship that develops between them, which makes them embark on a journey.

The intentions are clear (and noble too) —Bakrid wants to be a moving tale — but the results are middling.

  • Cast: Vikranth, Vasundhara Kashyap, Shrutika
  • Storyline: A man develops an unusual friendship with a camel, and has to embark on a journey with the animal

What works is the beautiful father-daughter relationship; there’s a lovely sequence in which Rathnam distracts his little one from the packet of chips she desperately wants. There’s genuine joy in both dad and daughter (Vikranth, interestingly, played a doting dad in his previous flick Suttu Pudika Utharavu as well), even as composer Imman gorgeous-yet-loud background score is at play. Bakrid needed more of such cheer.

What it chooses to do do, however, is to go all-out emotional. There are lengthy stretches between Vikranth and the camel, especially in the second half, when the director seems to run out of ideas on how to make the relationship connect with the audience. He introduces an angle with gau rakshaks that fails to appeal and brings in a sequence just for the sake of showcasing the camel as a hero (the way this pans out is utterly confusing and sudden).

Thankfully, there’s no laziness in Bakrid, but a lot of things seem to have sprung out of convenience. A character who speaks Hindi throughout conveniently starts talking in Tamil during a crucial scene. A lorry driver who seems to be selfish and wanting to make a quick buck conveniently becomes invested in the camel, and there are no scenes explaining the change of heart.

There is a nice tug at irony, though. I liked how a foreigner, who has spent two months in Chennai, speaks Tamil to Vikranth, while people in the Hindi-speaking states won’t help him out. This nomadic traveller is a vazhipokkan (isn’t that a wonderful Tamil word?) and completely gets the feeling Vikranth has for Sara. I wished we got some of it too.

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Printable version | Mar 26, 2020 9:33:44 PM |

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