There aren’t many films that demand a re-watch nowadays. A movie with great re-watch usually offers something new on every watch. We have numerous movies on those lists. Among those movies, I happen to watch director Prashanth Varma’s Awe (2018). I watched the movie in the theatre and I liked it so much but I am unable to get a chance to talk a lot about the movie nor had time to savour it more. Thanks to my dear Netflix, I got the chance to watch the movie multiple times. From this point, this post is going to be a full-on raving of the movie with full of spoilers. So to all those readers who haven’t watched the movie, please watch it now and come back and enjoy my piece on it.
As you have seen the movie, now you know that the stories are the stories that are happening inside the head of our protagonist Kali. One of the most amazing things among the others in this movie is how beautifully foreshadows twist right from the beginning. Just like an Edgar Wright movie in the opening credits you can see the whole story unfolding. Now keeping this aside let’s see each name and segments and how it keeps on defining the end.
We see that the movie begins with Kajal Aggarwal trying to do something and deciding based on the petals. The flower on the surface might look like Just a choice but ultimately it’s killing a flower and her name is revealed as Kali which again says that it’s the end of the world. Keeping Bhagavad-Gita in the table shows her affiliation in the ideology mentioned.
The first segment says the story of Radha and her Krishna. Krishna is the true love of any women. Krishna can understand true love, Krishna can see through your pain and bring you solace. That’s the role of Krishnaveni in the movie. She understands the hardships of Radha, she understands the hatred of Radha. Krishna fills the vacuum of Love in the life of Radha. Krishna clearly shows that he/she is beyond gender. Kali is Krishna Veni herself. She has gone through all those herself yet tried to find solace through Krishna.
Then comes the story of Nala. A story of a guy who badly in need of money to survive. He chooses a devious path to survive. He cheats or rather gambles his way to attain a position. He then gets the help of a fish and proceeds with his job. Nala at one point has to choose whether to survive himself or kill the fish that helped him. He chooses the latter and works on keeping his promise. For starters, Nala is the king known for his culinary skills and he becomes a cook of a king for survival after he was influenced by a demon named Kali (Clue, Clue and more Clues). He overcomes Kali’s bad influence by choosing to be on the path of dharma, just like how Nala throws away the cheque and chooses to fulfill the promise of Nani. Here Nala is also Kali who has opted this way for survival, after having gambled with money.
Then comes the story of Shiva, a watchman who is keen on solving the puzzle. Shiva, as the name suggests, is the destroyer. His parents were dead in an accident and he wants to go back in time and save his parents. He comes across Parvathy, his future self who says that one thing he does makes it all wrong. Here Kali is both Shiva and Parvathy. This shows the gender identity trouble of Kali. This character might have been cropped up due to the guilt, inability to save her parents and abuses she has gone through. While Shiva is still the compassionate human, Parvathy, on the other hand, needs the job to be done. She wants to end what Shiva fails to do. Once again we know that Shiva despite being a destroyer is always compassionate and at times it is Goddess Parvathy who pulls the trigger (Literally and metaphorically). Thus they end the world built by Kali.
Then comes the story of Moksha. The kid who believes in magic. The kid who wholeheartedly believes Krishna is the greatest magician and he can perform miracles. And indeed Krishna performs magic and miracles to Yogi, an ego filled magician. He abuses Moksha and says Yogi is the ultimate magician but Krishna proves that Yogi can do tricks but he is not the greatest. Yogi is an abuser, at the same time he didn’t give a second thought of saving the kid. In fact, I’ll discuss another common thread among all these characters later in this post.
Then comes the story of Meera. Meera is a waitress who works in the coffee shop so that to help her lover to perform a heist or rather petty stealing. Meera here too abused by her lover. He doesn’t listen to her. She is threatened by a demon she sees. The demon chases her for the heart locket she takes from the shop. It signifies the ghost from the past. Kali is scarred and threatened by the Ghost from the past. Meera is afraid that this plan shouldn’t bring any harm but accidentally it does bring. Also, her gothic ringtone hints us the ghost.
As Kali mentions in the climax both good and evil is in the same place and whenever she tries to reach the good, evil pulls her down. Each of the characters in her head has good and evil within themselves. Be it Yogi, Meera, Krishna and Nala. Although on the surface love and compassion triumphs at each story the real success lies when they go outside the shop. But sadly they are trapped and their love and compassion cannot win if it’s trapped in there. Shiva and Parvathy destroy the world as either way if they come out the results were not as expected at all possible probability. Thus the only way to peace for the struggling personalities is to end the vicious world they are in. Despite driven by compassion it is nearly impossible for Kali to survive. Another metaphor of surviving at Kali with compassion is near to impossible.
I really loved the way the creator brought in the mythology and how all these stories reflected the character name they possessed. These stories also show how a person with Multiple personality disorder creates characters and stories based on her influence over mythology. This movie definitely deserves multiple watching and these kinds of movies have to be lauded. Also, it is brave of a mainstream star like Nani to have produced this movie and voiced a fish. It indeed proved a golden year for Telugu Cinema. Hope that you too will enjoy this movie and can get a different interpretation than what I mentioned. I would like to know more about what you guys felt about this movie and if you think I got something wrong or interpreted differently please let me know in the comments.
P.S: These are just views of me. Some or rather many of it might have been just coincidence but as a mythology lover, this movie gave me enough space to interpret and savour.