Light a candle and prepare yourself.
From writer/director Sidharth Srinivasan, Kriya is described as a genre-driven arthouse film, which sets out to subvert Hindu ritual tradition, exposing its debasement of women. Kriya which will world premiere this Summer at the Fantasia International Film Festival, debuted the official trailer.
DJ Neel encounters the ravishing Sitara while working a club set one night and is transfixed by her. They return to Sitara’s place where Neel is horrified to see the gagged and shackled body of her dying father – Sitara’s grieving family keeping vigil around it. Caught completely unawares, Neel’s compassion is nevertheless aroused and he stays on. In India, patriarchal custom dictates that only a son can perform a parent’s last rites, but no such person exists in Sitara’s family. So when her father actually dies during the course of the night, Sitara coerces Neel to officiate the rituals of death. Thrust into a world of magic and transgression, Neel finally attempts to flee his waking nightmare. But as dawn breaks, it becomes evident that Sitara’s family is afflicted by an ancient curse. One that Neel is now very much a part of.
Kriya is New Delhi filmmaker Sidharth Srinivasan’s first horror work (and first narrative feature in a decade, following SOUL OF SAND, an acclaimed selection at TIFF and Rotterdam). It’s an aesthetically beautiful film, mystically atmospheric and imbued with a creeping unease that casts an uncommon spell. It’s also startlingly transgressive. While the film is vibrant with stark imagery and an amusingly dark sense of humor, Kriya is very much a work of confrontational art. One that subverts Hindu ritual traditions and shrieks against its debasement of women in clever and compelling ways.