“If we don’t talk about our nation, who else is going to do?”, asks Kamal K M, director of the film ‘ID’. Close-up shots, which are usually used as a tool to spice up the screen, zoom in on the sordid realities of Mumbai’s Mankhurd and its life. Without a tear-jerking melodrama, through arresting visuals and a distinct storyline, he has drawn the picture of Mumbai, bringing under one-roof its many realities. And the above-mentioned quote was his answer towards the question from the Mumbai censor board on why he was exposing the darker side of the place through the film.
“I am speaking about the people who are displaced in search of a livelihood, whose number is increasing in the world everyday. I am not detached from the subjects who are being filmed. Only then, will I be able to penetrate into their lives,” explains Kamal. The frames on screen are based on the life he has been witnessing since 2005 when he started living in Mumbai.
The film has a young educated woman, Charu in her mid-twenties, setting out to find the identity of an unknown man who collapsed while
painting the walls of her apartment. He dies at the hospital and Charu willingly takes the responsibility of finding his whereabouts. With the photograph of the man, taken after his death at the hospital, she starts her journey into the slums in Mumbai from where she assumes he hails.
“There is a reason why a girl from urban society is made to travel in search of the man’s identity. It is a means to sensitise urban society to harsh realities. It transforms her. Having lived unaware of the living conditions of the poor so far, her mission to identify the man from the slums is also her exposure to other kinds of life,” he says. The girl, part of a busy life, is patiently lent an ear by the people in the slum who are also willing to help her with her problems.
With a DSLR still camera, the ace director says he intended to liberate the entire process of film-making. The film is produced by a team comprising Oscar winning sound designer Resul Pookutty, Rajeev Ravi, Madhu Neelakandan, Sunil Babu and B Ajithkumar. Resul has also done the sound designing of the movie. ‘ID’, which has been to seven international film festivals, including the 17th Busan International Film Festival, is not meant for winning accolades, says Kamal. “My film raises a question to the people in power. And we expect this gesture to help find a solution for the displaced.”