Gurvinder Singh’s Chauthi Koot has already attained the status of a cinematic milestone. Last year, it became the first-ever Punjabi-language feature to break into the Cannes Film Festival’s official selection. No Indian entry in the past decade has arguably been more deserving of that nod.
Opening in multiplexes with English subtitles , Chauthi Koot, with its sparse dialogue, chilling use of shifty silences and deep sense of humanity, crafts a telling portrait of blighted, scarred lives in militancy era Punjab.Cinematographer Satya Rai Nagpaul’s images breathe and speak in the most eloquent ways while sound designer Susmit Bob Nath’s subtle interventions complete the grim, gloomy frames and heighten their impact.
Chauthi Koot views a point in the history of contemporary Punjab through the eyes of flesh-and-blood men and women battered and bruised, both physically and mentally, by the state on one hand and Khalistani separatists on the other.The human suffering is reflected in the fate of a pet dog whose barks metaphorically become the voice of the voiceless, no matter how unheard it is doomed to be.
A fusion of two Waryam Singh Sandhu short stories, Chauthi Koot is a stinging testament to the irreversible corrosion that violence wreaks on minds and souls.