Prithvi Konanur’s superb ‘Hadinelentu (Seventeeners)’ opened the Indian Panorama section at IFFI; it’s about a leaked sex tape, and is a scalpel-sharp dissection of caste

Posted on November 25, 2022

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Spoilers ahead…

I was riveted by this story about a Brahmin boy and a Dalit girl. It’s like watching a gut-churning Asghar Farhadi melodrama filmed in Michael Haneke’s detached CCTV- style.

Hari and Deepa (Neeraj Mathew and the excellent Sherlyn Bhosale) are Class XII students. They find an empty classroom, have sex, and record it on her phone. Boys being boys, Hari can’t help showing the video to his close friends, one of whom suggests that he will become famous if he leaks it on the Internet, so famous that he might even be invited to Bigg Boss. But when the video really does get leaked, Deepa and Hari are bewildered. How? The principal, too, is shocked – particularly by Hari. “You are a good student,” he says, as though proficiency in studies comes with an implicit vow of celibacy. The vice principal, extraordinarily played by Rekha Kudligi, seems more angry with Deepa. “At least he’s a boy…”, she begins. Enough said. The parents are called. A committee is organised in school to decide what should be done. And the film really takes off.

You can read the rest of the review here:

https://www.galatta.com/kannada/movie/review/hadinelentu/

And you can watch the video review here:

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