India is known for its rich, vibrant colours and stunning nature, so it is not surprising that a film shot there would be a feast for the eyes. The challenge, then, is finding a story as beautiful as to not rely on its natural splendour, and Sandhya Suri’s The Field does just that.
Set in rural India, Mia Maelzer plays Lalla, a poor agricultural labourer who is preparing to harvest the only remaining cornfield in the village. She is married to a man who hardly speaks to her, and she is left looking after their two children without much help at all. She seeks solace from the every day in a double life of sorts, testing the boundaries of what is forbidden.
Each shot is richer and more beautiful than the next, with Maelzer’s beauty and presence captivating the whole screen wherever she appears. The camera crew had the difficult task of shooting most of their scenes at dusk or dawn, but they meet the challenge impeccably, using the blue light to create an enchanting cinematic experience. The sensuality of the film accompanies this powerful and understated story of forbidden love and repression.
The film is subtle, it is not a dramatic spectacle, but there is so much underlying emotion and exquisiteness that it is incredibly affecting. The most stunning scenes are set amongst the cornfield, which is like a character in itself, and the heart of the drama is delightfully accompanied by the hypnotic sound of the leaves hissing in the wind. It would be difficult not to be moved by the beauty of this story, and it’s a sure contender for award season.
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