“Cargo” Movie Review: A Good Attempt at Sci Fi

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Indian filmmaker Arati Kadav, in her new venture “Cargo”, brought something that Indian cinema had bever seen before. “Cargo” revolves around a retro space ship called the Pushpak 634A, with one crew member named Prahastha (Vikrant Massey).

At the start, Prahastha is seen floating around as he fixes a solar panel on the ship’s exterior. The character is not clear; however, it is interesting to see such visual details. Massey is an obedient and appealing character. However, the deaths in the movie are treated as a joke. The character’s death isn’t shown; however, the moment just before it is captured.

When these victims arrive in the Pushpak 634A, they are confused as to what has happened. However, Prahastha rushes them through the process and shows no interest in the visitors. An old magician is his first guest. His personal effects include a white pigeon and countless silk handkerchiefs stuffed up his shirt’s sleeve. Intriguingly, the newly dead don’t feel attached from the living lives they just lost recently. However, you can see some of them asking for a phone to contact their loved ones.

However, the movie doesn’t explain how that happens. It can be observed that it isn’t interested in logistics. What Kadav seems more interested in is Prahastha’s state of the soul. She is on a mission to help reveal it. His boss (Nandu Madhav) sent him a female demon with healing magical power. Her name was Yuvishka (Shweta Tripathi). When they meet, Shezan Shaikh’s background score begins to indicate the possibility of romance between the two in the future. However, the relationship becomes more professional as time goes.  She resembles a daughter figure, who is to Prahastha to remind him of his home planet. Finally, it turns out that he has been carrying some emotional baggage and “Cargo” helps him reconnect with a person that he had feelings for almost seventy-five years earlier.

Maybe the film could have been better enjoyed by those who are connected to its cultural roots. However, it does an okay job explaining human-demon relations, although there were glitches here and there. The style works in this case but not the story. Production designer Mayur Sharma and Kadav gave us a sci-fi film that is dangerous to pull off. The movie is not only different from western films, but nothing like this has been brought to India before. Hence, there is no doubt that it is an original.

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