Directed by Soumyak Kanti DeBiswas. Starring Naseeruddin Shah, Ira Dubey, Jitendra Shastri, Chitrangada Satarupa


Part of the InFocus Shorts at the Jio Mama Mumbai Film Festival 2022, The Daughter is a 16 minute look into an intense situation occurring in a war zone but having nothing to do directly with the surrounding conflict, or so it would seem.

Indu (Ira Dubey) has a mission to accomplish through the chaos, bombs and gunfire of a conflict-ridden city. She seeks help and rushes around in her Maruti Suzuki Van but you’re not sure what her end goal is. A man who is ostensibly her father (Naseeruddin Shah) sits by her side in the van, drinking and reciting poetry and witty ditties for her. At one point she stops and says she can’t do it. No, the poetry isn’t upsetting her; and her father is clearly frustrated as he is counting on her. She presses on through the explosions in the background. Sound editing here is good.

Ira Dubey in The Daughter

There’s a clear tension going on but surprisingly the conflict is just like background noise. It’s there for atmosphere, not as substance. The Daughter shows us that in conflict and war, human suffering and situations are aggravated but there are still some personal conflicts that overshadow the horrors of war. It also touches on the bond between a father and his daughter. Strong-willed Indu must make a harrowing choice through what is a traumatic situation but she powers through. You can see a duality here between daughter and father: strength and cowardice, lightness and seriousness, freedom and obligation. Ira Dubey and Naseeruddin Shah make it work wonderfully.

Naseeruddin Shah in The Daughter

In the last scene you realise what Indu has been asked to do, but then there are questions like was her father always like that, or did it happen after the conflict. Either way you realise that our individual problems are all different and unique, the way we tackle them become our victories or hollow victories. We must live and we must die as free-willed people.


Check out the film at the Jio Mami Film Festival 2022 here.


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