by Alex Billington
July 31, 2020
Sit down before you watch this. With the fall festival season about to kick off, some exciting new films are about to premiere. Kriya is an Indian film described as “the nightmare odyssey of a young DJ named Neel (Noble Luke) who is picked up one fateful night by the beautiful Sitara, only to be thrust into a hallucinatory world of ritual magic surrounding the imminent death of her father.” That sounds a bit vague, but perhaps it’s best to leave it that way. “It’s an aesthetically beautiful film, mystically atmospheric and imbued with a creeping unease that casts an uncommon spell.” Co-Produced by Andy Starke (of In Fabric) and Pete Tombs (of Free Fire), with an unforgettable score by Jim Williams, “Kriya is a strange and wondrous nightmare odyssey of ritual magic. It demands to be met on its own terms and rewards the curious with unexpected charms. Light a candle and prepare yourself.” That’s one hell of a pitch – I’m definitely curious. Take a look.
Here’s the first official promo trailer ( poster) for Sidharth Srinivasan’s Kriya, direct from YouTube:
DJ Neel encounters the ravishing Sitara while working a club set one night and is transfixed by her. They return to Sitara’s place where Neel is horrified to see the gagged and shackled body of her dying father – Sitara’s grieving family keeping vigil around it. Caught completely unawares, Neel’s compassion is nevertheless aroused and he stays on. In India, patriarchal custom dictates that only a son can perform a parent’s last rites, but no such person exists in Sitara’s family. So when her father actually dies during the course of the night, Sitara coerces Neel to officiate the rituals of death. Thrust into a world of magic and transgression, Neel finally attempts to flee his waking nightmare. But as dawn breaks, it becomes evident that Sitara’s family is afflicted by an ancient curse. One that Neel is now very much a part of. Kriya is both written and directed by Indian filmmaker Sidharth Srinivasan, director of the films Divine Vision and Soul of Sand previously, and one other short film. This is set to premiere at the Fantasia Film Festival coming up soon. No other release dates have been set – stay tuned for updates. First impression? Who’s in?
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