There is something pristine about the wild. Something so primitive, but perennial. When one begins to set out for a close encounter with the wild, one is startled with the vision of one’s own primordial roots – with some unseen, indefinable umbilical chord connecting between… to the eventual realization that man and nature are not two but essentially and inevitably one entity.
Roshni Rose’s latest venture ‘Life for Lives’ is a powerful and aesthetic visualization of this message. There is no more space for the ever-conflicting question: who is more important, man or nature? When one releases a sigh as the final titles scroll down through the screen, a sense of reciprocity will begin to throb in his heart – Reciprocity between man and nature. Inter-dependence is the word. Inter-dependence is the message. When we cut the nature off from our lives, when we destroy the forests and avariciously hunt the animals, we are in fact breaking the law of inter-dependence, and brutally severing ourselves off from our own roots.
Even though the 45 minutes long film is a panegyric on the life of Kannan, the one of a kind forest watcher, who has fallen in love with the nature to the extent of worshipping it as a divinity, Life for Lives is a wake-up call to be more compassionate to the nature lest we lose the meaning of our existence. Kannan knows every pulse of the forest he lives in. A man who has grasped the soul of the forest, Kannan knows every living species in the forests of Western Ghats down here in its Southern end. The forest and the animals reciprocate his love and compassion towards them. Kannan reads the signs of the wild, and by his constant interactions he has learned the language of the woods. He has numbered all the living beings in the woods and in the waters, as if they are the members of his household. He feels for them, and lives for them.
The best thing about the film is the pristine sylvan experience it imparts. The cinematography by Ajosh, a gifted wild life photographer is remarkable. His frames have a vibrancy that arrests the viewer, gifting a life like experience of trekking through and literally living through the forest. The changing seasons, the fall of light and its vanishing, the stumps that dart out of the still waters, the tiger, the herd of elephants grazing, the fire in the dark and so on come alive before your charmed eyes. The music score is fitting to the mood and the narration informative. The director deserves applause for choosing an offbeat, but profoundly timely subject and rendering it in way that leaves an indelible mark.