The seller of fish

Posted on March 30, 2017

5


A deep dive into moments from the 2014 Kannada neo-noir drama ‘Ulidavaru Kandante’, which details the search for a man through the people who knew him.

A journalist is in search of a story, a story about a man named Ritchie. One of the people she interviews, a cashew nut seller named Shailesha, tells her, “Ritchie was a bully since childhood. At the age of 12, he stabbed a boy to death, defending his friend Raghu. Raghu disappeared without a trace, and Ritchie was sent to the remand home. He was released after eight years. He returned to Malpe and looked for Raghu in vain. But Raghu was nowhere to be found.”

It’s fitting that we hear about Raghu through someone else. The name of the film, after all, is Ulidavaru Kandante (As Seen by the Rest). The journalist asks Shailesha how he found Raghu. He says by chance, when he visited Bombay to show cashew nut samples to an exporter. Raghu was the exporter’s acquaintance. “We visited a ladies’ bar for dinner, and Raghu joined us there.” Raghu was now a criminal. He hadn’t come home in 15 years. He didn’t know his father was dead until Shailesha told him in the lurid light of the ladies’ bar. Raghu reacts by covering his face with his hands, a cigarette burning away between two fingers.

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