Occasional Reflection on the Contingencies of Life

Told through a series of 23 interviews the film is a pastiche of Shami's mother's investigation into her daughter's life at college. The more we find out about people's ideas of Shami, the less we seem to know her. The film asks questions about perception - what it is that colours our opinions of those around us and how much of it has to do with our ideas of ourselves. It looks at the unreliability of societal memory.
It tries to understand what it means when a human being with a past, a present and an idea of the future disappears. With each interview, the mother grapples actively with ambiguous loss. Simultaneously, she discovers how the world views those living around them. What is it we notice about each other? What is it that sticks? What leads to judgement? What shapes the fragmented reality of our existence today?
As the mystery of Shami's disappearance builds, so does Shami's mother's understanding of the compound reality of the world around her as well as of questions about what lies at the root of her own relationship with her daughter.

  • Mohit Takalkar
    The Bright Day, Chirebandi, Medium Spicy
  • Irawati Karnik
    Medium Spicy, Anandi Gopal, Jhimma, Smile Please, Ekulti Ek, Irada Pakka, Man Pakharu Pakharu
  • Nachiket Chidgopkar
    The Bright Day
  • Abhijeet Bhosale
    The Bright Day
  • Mrinmayee Godbole
    Key Cast
    "The Best Friend"
  • Ashutosh Potdar
    Key Cast
    "The Bio-Chem Professor"
  • Ashish Mehta
    Key Cast
    "The Maths Professor"
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Feature
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 34 minutes 9 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 1, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    40,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
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Director Biography - Mohit Takalkar

A film editor, scriptwriter, director for film and documentaries, Mohit has edited 20 feature films and over 500 television episodes and 8 documentaries. His directorial debut ‘The Bright Day’ premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was showcased at major film festivals around the globe. His next was ‘Chirebandi’ a documentary on celebrated Indian playwright, Mahesh Elkunchwar. His Marathi debut feature, ‘Medium Spicy’ is ready for release.
‘Occasional Reflection on the Contingencies of Life’, is his latest film in which the cast features mainly non-actors and is shot on a mobile camera at actual locations with minimum interventions.
Mohit set up his theatre group Aasakta in Pune in 2003 and has been active in theatre for the past twenty five years and has directed more than thirty plays in various languages.
A recipient of numerous awards and fellowships Mohit also runs his small restaurant, ‘Barometer’ in Pune.

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Director Statement

Living in India today is a peculiar experience. She simultaneously exists in different times. The dying farmers and villages without electricity are as much a reality as the booming metros and bursting conglomerates. This has lead all of us to have compound faces and multiple voices. In the post-ideological world of today, as the context changes, so does the nature of people’s roles in the world around them. Here people often live lives aspired and imagined which leads to an inevitable and inescapable fragmented sense of identity, which is the primary aim of the film rather than conveying the story of it.
The film was a process of intense sharing by the actors, writer and director along with the technicians to assemble, edit, and re-shape the existing narrative. Whatever the starting point was, and whatever the end product is, its process holds many similarities across the whole spectrum of devised film making. At the same time, a challenge for me was how to resist the temptation of conceiving the world only as a resource for our ‘artistic’ ends, hence, not entirely, but it is shot in the style of cinéma-vérité, trying to avoid artistic effect and artificiality and is somewhat closer to documentary style filmmaking and with minimum external interventions like music, lighting, lenses, equipments etc.
It is an attempt to take narrative to be the conveyance of information about a series of events which follow on one from the other with digressions and suspensions in that timeline. These events are linked by a process of cause and effect; there is a beginning, middle and end with each of the interview– whether that end be ‘closed’ or ‘open’ rests on the viewers discretion.