A powerful tale about past trauma and “breaking the cycle”
Rony Patra -
What is the story about?
Abhimanyu, a man loathes himself when he realizes he has turned into the man he hates the most.
It’s hard to sit through a depiction of domestic violence in movies these days, especially when it can act as triggers for a mental breakdown. Samskara, however, utilizes a split-screen approach to show the viewer how domestic violence is often a cycle perpetuated by past trauma. Two narratives involving the same person--Abhimanyu—in different periods of his life play out simultaneously. In the first, he goes into shock when he shoots his father while he was beating up his mother. As a grown-up, he risks doing the same to his wife. The director effectively shows how domestic violence is often a result of past trauma, and how, quite often, we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes we try consciously to avoid. However, the short film ends with a glimmer of hope, and a promise that it is possible to break out of this cycle of violence with the help of love and patience.
As the younger and older versions of Abhimanyu, Naman Jain and Namit Das put in strong performances and convey the sheer helplessness of their situation. Padma Damodaran as Abhimanyu's mother and Priya Tandon as Abhimanyu's wife convey their vulnerable state effectively.
Music & Other Departments
Akshay Singh keeps the narrative ticking along with his impressive night shots. Vaishak Ravi's editing is top-notch.
The split-screen narrative device makes the story more hard-hitting.
Did I enjoy it?
Do I recommend it?
Yes. It is a powerful tale about how we often repeat the sins of the past. At the same time, it is also a reminder that love and acceptance can make us accept our past trauma and attempt to heal ourselves.