“Cobalt Blue”, written and directed by Sachin Kundalkar is an adaptation of his novel. Set in 1996, Kochi, the film brings into light the contention around homosexuality. It is an enchanting take on the wholesome nature of love. As much as the film is a visual treat to your eyes, it also speaks volumes about the experiences of heartbreak and societal unfairness.
The film casts Prateik Babbar as an unnamed tenant and an artist who becomes the common love interest between two siblings. In a supporting role, we also get to see Neil Bhoopalam who masters his role of a yearning soul.
“Cobalt Blue” is the story of Tanay (Neelay Mehendale) and Anuja (Anjali Sivaraman) who live in a close knit family with their traditional set of parents (Shishir Sharma and Geetanjali Kulkarni) and an elder brother (Anant Joshi). They belong to a Maharashtrian household bound by cultural and social norms. And in such a scenario, what it takes to be true to yourself and how all that you desire can feel like a roller-coaster in itself.
Tanay, pursuing masters in literature is a bright character who enjoys living in his own world of art, dreams, colours and poetry. He is as unaffected by the unjust world as delighted he is by his own living. Anuja on the other hand is a strong and ambitious woman of the 90s. She has to struggle her ways out to live life on her own terms. Uninterested in the ideas of femininity and marriage, she wishes to be an athlete.
In seeking different things from life, “Cobalt Blue” is a beautiful picturization of the personal adventures of the two siblings as they fall in love and make their way out through betrayal from their loved one, family and society.
It is not just the storyline or the intricately written characters that keep you hooked through the film, but also the thematic expressions. The Vincenzo Condorelli’s cinematography is engrossed with beautiful colour play. It is difficult to not note how colours have been used to represent emotions and to form a connect between the artists of the film and the audience. Whether it’s the enlightening blue or the impassioned use of rustic red in the backdrop. The warmth of yellow or the serene subtle greens at the outdoors. The colour combined transition in the scenes adds volumes to the depth of the story. The characters and their association with colours is naturally woven. Their artistic commonality and authenticity connects them to each other. And the storyline flows.
The honesty with which Tanay loves and his naïve engagement in everything forms the most wholesome part of the story. You cannot stop but think about what goes deep inside you in the moments of pure indulgence into your being.
What seems like a perfectly crafted art film may look a little bit gloomy in a few scenes. But it takes for a well written script to pace up the storyline at the right time. Just when the chemistry between Tanay and his love interest begins to look dragged, the story takes a turn and you are once again engrossed into ‘what next.’
Apart from the excellent play with the cinematography and some extra-ordinary weightage on artistic living, it is the moments of relatable family interactions and familiar sibling dynamics that complete the film.
“Cobalt Blue” is now streaming on Netflix.