A snapshot from Assamese superhero film ‘Advitya’

The cinemas of Assam rarely see the light of science fiction movies. But when I stumbled upon the trailer for ‘Advitya’, a film by Arindam Sharma, I was optimistic. Although the VFX was underwhelming, I applauded the effort to make a superhero movie for Assamese cinema.

And despite the lacklustre visual effects, I hoped that the story would be the saving grace. ‘Advitya’ released on April 7 across cinema halls in Assam. And I quickly realized my mistake about this movie within just 30 minutes into the matinee show on April 13, in an empty cinema hall in Guwahati with not a single soul in sight. It seemed like a herculean feat to endure it any further.

But, I endured the entire two hours despite realizing after 30 painful minutes that ‘Advitya’ was a complete waste of time and money. It was so bad that viewers would not help but ask – why was it even made and why it was so terribly fake? And by fake, I’m not just talking about the visual effects, but also the awkwardly placed situations and the unconvincing performances and dialogue delivery of the actors.

The story is worse than a practical assignment completed by a third-grade student for storytelling classes. It was like watching a toddler’s crayon scribbles come to life, but with less artistic merit and more disappointment. The film’s visuals are a second-hand embarrassment, with even outdoor scenes being shot with a green screen for some inexplicable reason. This only makes the film look faker than a fake. And then there are the dialogues. The characters converse in a manner which is so polite that no human being in the real world ever use that language. It’s almost as if they’re communicating through e-mail.

A snapshot from Assamese superhero film ‘Advitya’
A snapshot from Assamese superhero film ‘Advitya’


Well, maybe next time I’ll send a brainless clone of myself to enjoy such a movie. But you can’t make a sci-fi movie where there is a real deal of defying the laws of nature and then expect audiences to leave their brains behind. Even if you did, there would still be no redeeming qualities to this movie. I’m left wondering if Arindam Sharma made this movie out of some self-congratulatory agenda or if he simply has no clue about the basics of filmmaking, which can be self-taught by simply watching enough movies. The makers may argue that their target audience was children. However, using intricate and complex Assamese vocabulary in the dialogues contradicts that claim.

But, even if we give them the benefit of the doubt and say that it was made for kids, it still falls flat. It’s so cringe-worthy that not even kids would want to watch it. This movie is a complete waste of time, money, energy, and resources for everyone involved, including the audience.

‘Advitya’ was ridiculous in concept and execution. The film opens with a scientist, Dr Roy, trying to cheat time and nature by becoming immortal, with the help of two aids who look anything but scientists. The experiment is successful, and the scientist becomes a tall, young and hunky guy but with pale blue patches on his skin, which appears and disappears and reappears throughout the movie.

Now, without any background information or character motivation, Dr Roy suddenly decides to rule over the world and spread darkness. Taking over a world is not so easy and to add to the list of Dr Roy’s problems, as soon as he steps out of his chamber, the sun roasts him like a turkey on Thanksgiving, making it impossible for him to enjoy a sunny day at the beach. Just kidding! As soon as Dr Roy steps out of his cabin, the sunlight burns his skin making it unbearable and impossible for him to step out in the daylight. Then he returns back to the lab and asks his overworked minions to find out why. A loyal scientist reassures Dr Roy that he will find out the problem and a cure soon.

Moving away from Dr Roy’s lab, the scientist talks to himself and drops a knowledge bomb on the audience. He says to himself: “I can claim without any research as to why your skin burns in daylight Dr Roy… It is the dangerous result of cheating nature and time.”

Now, what is the purpose of this scene and that aside? Well, the director assumes the audiences are so dim-witted that they need to be spoon-fed the basic laws of nature that every action has equal and opposite reaction. And the film maintains such absurd and ludicrous way of presenting the events from start to finish.

A snapshot from Assamese superhero film ‘Advitya’
A snapshot from Assamese superhero film ‘Advitya’

Writer-director Arindam Sharma has no clue and understanding of the causal principles of plot or the dramatic devices of establishing a conflict or the parameters of character construction, that are inseparable ingredients of narrative storytelling. In ‘Advitya’, the plot just meanders along with no rhyme or reason. Occasionally, there’s some sort of connection between events, but often there isn’t.

Pranay, one of the brothers, brings up their sister’s tragic car accident with great emotion, but strangely, she never gets mentioned again. The story jumps around, and characters often talk to themselves because the director is substituting soliloquies for exposition. This might be because, one, he lacks creativity or two, simply because he’s lazy. Either way, if he wants to keep the audience on the same page with the story and himself, he makes a character talk out his/her thoughts loud.

In ‘Advitya’, there’s also a plot involving two brothers, Pranay and Prateek, who are orphans with no explanation given about their past. They’re close and fiercely protective of each other. One day, Pranay, the older brother falls for a girl, and they get married immediately without any family drama since the girl is also an orphan. Then, in a strange turn of events, the new bride sends the elder brother on a potato run, but on the way back from the market, he almost gets hit by an asteroid which exposes him to superhuman powers. And if that wasn’t bizarre enough, Prateek calls his sister-in-law as ‘baa’ instead of ‘bou’. I mean, what kind of family dynamics is this?

During the film, a friend of mine, with whom I had watched the film, pointed out the striking similarities between ‘Advitya’ and the ‘Spiderman’ movies. Both Pranay and Peter Parker are orphans, with only the support of one family member. Aunt May for Peter, Prateek for Pranay. There’s also this scene where Prateek straight up drops the classic “with great power comes great responsibility” line on Pranay. Additionally, there is a female sidekick of Dr Roy who has powers similar to those of Electro from Spiderman – manipulating electricity. Both characters face job-related struggles, and even their love lives seem to follow similar patterns. In fact, my friend speculated that Pranay’s girlfriend’s demise may mirror that of Gwen in the Spiderman series. Sure enough, a few scenes later, Pranay’s wife is killed when a building collapses on her, solidifying the uncanny parallels between the two films.

The major difference between the two stories is that the death of the girlfriend evokes an emotional response in ‘The Amazing Spiderman 2’ (2014), whereas in ‘Advitya’, Pranay doesn’t seem to give a damn about his dead wife and doesn’t even bother to pull her body out of the rubble. It’s as if he’s relieved to be rid of her. The film spends a lot of time building up the story in the anticipation of a dark turn, and then out of nowhere, there’s a conflict between the hero and villain, leading straight to the climax. It’s like the filmmaker forgot to write or add in more scenes of the hero and villain crossing paths before they decide to go to war. The conflict is simply not well established.

The characters’ behavior in the movie is utterly absurd and contrived. For instance, during a job interview scene, Pranay hands his resume (listen closely to how it’s pronounced in the film) to the interviewer and lands the job within a matter of seconds, no questions asked. And it is only after getting the job, Pranay is asked the classic interview question, “Tell me about yourself.” Does it make any sense? It’s as if the writer-director was living in an alternate reality while crafting this screenplay, completely disconnected from the real world.

It’s quite bizarre that the trailer of ‘Advitya’ looks suspiciously similar to the trailer of Rakesh Roshan’s ‘Krrish 3’ (2013). The only difference is that ‘Krrish 3’ (2013) was produced under the Filmkraft Productions (India) Pvt Ltd banner while ‘Advitya’ is produced under the Krrishna Kraft Productions (India) Pvt Ltd banner. You can even see the logos of both banners below. It seems like someone was feeling particularly uncreative that day. And it should come as no surprise that Krrish is short for Krrishna, which is Hrithik Roshan’s name in the film.

logo compare copy – The News Mill

I could keep on ranting about this godawful film, but I have more important and worthwhile things to attend to than wasting my time writing about such a pile of garbage. The theatre was deserted, screenings were cancelled, and not a soul bothered to watch this movie. And if by any chance anyone did, they were probably just the family, friends, or acquaintances of the movie’s producers. And if they had any positive comments to say about it, they either meant it sarcastically or they’ve never watched a decent film in their entire life.

Well, if you’re looking for a surefire way to make yourself dumber and more bored, then look no further than this movie. It’s a real masterpiece in the art of wasting time and brain cells. You’d be better off watching paint dry or counting the grains of sand on a beach than subjecting yourself to this cinematic disaster. Oh, and congratulations to this movie for making it to the second spot of the ‘movies I had to force myself to watch till the end’ list, right behind the masterpiece of cinematic disaster called ‘Krodh – The Devil Inside’ (2018).

Before I conclude, let me share a cautionary tale. Once there was a king who commissioned a famous artist to paint a portrait of him. The artist spent months perfecting the painting, and finally presented it to the king. However, the king was not satisfied with the painting, and in his anger, he threw it on the ground, shattering it into a million pieces. The artist pleaded with the king, saying that he had put his heart and soul into the painting, and it was his best work. But the king replied: “I don’t care how much effort you put into it. If it doesn’t please me, it’s worthless.”

Now, I’m not saying that my words carry the weight of a king’s opinions. However, I do believe that it’s important to be honest about our experiences, even if they are negative. That being said, I want to make it clear that my intention is not to demean the effort of the makers of ‘Advitya’. I respect the time and energy that goes into creating a film, and I appreciate the fact that they took a risk in bringing a superhero movie to Assam. My only hope is that my tough words can serve as constructive criticism, and perhaps inspire the makers to strive for even greater heights in their future endeavours.

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Avatar of Kalpa Jyoti Bhuyan
About Kalpa Jyoti Bhuyan


The writer is a MA Political Science student of Gauhati University. He did his graduation from Cotton University. Apart from writing, he is a movie enthusiast.


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