‘Poorna’ Review: Simple, Taut & A Pleasurable Cinematic Experience

There is always something delectably engaging in a story about an underdog triumphing over adversity. Slowly getting sucked into the narrative, making the protagonist's journey one of our own, we unwittingly begin to cheer for the reticent "David" as the Goliath's challenge is taken head on.

In Rahul Bose's second directorial venture, this challenge is a steep one, and the obstacles are humongous. Taking on the inspiring real story of Poorna Malavath, who at the tender age of 13 years and 11 months, became the youngest woman to climb the Everest, Poorna is a simple yet earnest retelling of the formidable feat.

A sports film with a women-centric theme and a heartening feel to it, Poorna's story is tailor made for a pleasurable cinematic experience. But the biggest challenge that such 'widely reported in the media' stories face, is how to keep the viewers engaged to a plot whose trajectory they already know .

Rahul Bose gets his basics right and ensures that for these 105 minutes, we are fully invested into the story of this petite girl who slowly, but surely, makes it to the top of the world.

Melting into the role of Poorna is Aditi Inaamdar – a thoughtful young child in a small village in Telengana, who along with her sister, quietly sweeps the floor at her school  as punishment for not being able to furnish the requisite fee.

Shy and self-effacing, it is her sprightly sister who talks of challenging the status quo. She talks of running away, of dreams of being an officer, of connecting her village “katchha rasta" to the city and lights in Poorna, the urge to push ahead.

Circumstances conspire and Priya (S Marya) gets shackled by societal norms, but Poorna must forge ahead, for her own self and to realise the dreams of her sister. Both the young girls, Aditi Inamar and S Mariya, are so surprisingly accomplished and endearing in their scenes together that one can't help but cheer for them.

For a small budget film the cinematography is hugely effective. From the dusty village roads to towering heights of the snow peaked mountains, we chart the whole course and quite evocatively too. Rahul Bose can also been seen in the role of Dr RS Praveen Kumar, who helps spot Poorna’s talent and guides her through.

His ease in front of the camera along with the promising additions of Dhritiman Chatterjee,  Heeba Shah and Harsha Vardhan, all help give the film a credible potency. Some of the scenes where the officials are seen brainstorming about the expedition makes the plot wobble a bit, but each time it focuses on Poorna and her determined stride ahead all seems fine.

Straightforward, simple and taut  – Poorna both the film and the real life saga, prove that being grounded and true to ones self is the best way to succeed. Go for it and you will not regret it!  3.5 quints /5.

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