Izhutheri is 26.16-minute wordless short film directed by Vignesh Kumar. The film simply presents its world as is, in order to drive the caste concept that most Indian films aren’t angry enough to make a point. We first see an inspector on a phone call, clearly frustrated with orders from above regarding suspect detection. After a dreadful incident coupled with an ungovernable paroxysm of violence, there has to be a catch.
The second half of the short shows us why the man did and what he did.
There is a flashback again, a peculiarly realized animated sequence that insists on showing more than suggesting. The form of the film is consumed by the theatrical potential of the honor killings origin story.
We do realize that the message of Izhutheri lies in its title. Again, the voiceover of the caught man is scripted well. And then, midway through the short, we are hit with the reveal. The voice ends with a line that immediately turns this into a disturbing the inspector, and necessary, story. But it is, more importantly, a prime example of how a short film can be aesthetically derived from its purpose, especially in an era where the “message” often tends to hijack the medium. It tells us something old, something uncomfortable, in a way that forces us to recognize the importance of cinema just as much as the essence of the caste issue at hand.
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