Aamis – Pushes the Boundaries of Brave Storytelling

Set in Guwahati, Aamis is all about meat and love. In the title sequence, we see Sumon going out with friends and cooking fresh goat meat before having it with friends. Parallelly, Nirmali is playing word building with her son, Piku and he forms the word ‘Mutton’. Their connection is evident even before they meet. Nirmali, a married doctor and Sumon, a PhD student researching meat-eating culture in the northeast, meet for the first time when Sumon’s vegetarian friend suffers indigestion after having mutton for the very first time the night before, and Nirmali is requested by Sumon to treat his friend.

What seems to be a one-off thing slowly grows, and they both bond over meat. While Sumon tries to keep their relationship platonic, he can’t help it. Even when Sumon is told that he is a just a spice in the Nirmali’s tasteless life, he refuses to believe, and as it turns out, he is more than just a spice. Nirmali, despite being older and a mother, can’t help either. There is a sense of void in her life, as her husband is away most of the time and Sumon suffuses it. He takes her out to try distinct types of meat, and she enjoys his company and the food. Sumon refrains from making sexual advances, even though he craves for it. As Nirmali’s desires grow, their relationship and the film travel into a dark tunnel which Indian cinema has never travelled and this tunnel has no light at the end.

There is no physical relationship between them, and the sexual tension is minimal. For Nirmali, having meat together is the way of making love, which weirdly, satisfies her urges. She never craves for sexual benefits, it is only about meat for her. Nirmali’s friend Jhumi is quite a different character. Although married, she is in extra-marital affair. Some may call her sexually liberated, and others might call her a bitch. That’s not the case for Nirmali, though. She is unlike any other women character we have seen before in an Indian film. Sure, we have seen married women getting into illicit relationships before. We have seen young men falling for older women. But what sets Aamis apart is their relationship cannot be categorised into physical, philosophical, or that case, platonic. It is something which we have never seen, revealing anything would be a major spoiler.

All this play out perfectly because actors Lima Das and Arghadeep Baruah, are terrific together. Being fresh faces, there was no other character I could refer to because I’ve not seen them before. They were just Sumon and Nirmali. Director and writer Bhaskar Hazarika explores female desires and morality with this love story. And it takes courage(to put it frankly, balls) to tell a story like this.

Sumon & Nirmali

The director never judges the characters’ motives and actions. He just tells a story that is sure to hit you in the stomach(in the stomach, I repeat). Will something like this happen in reality? What impact would it have on the society? Is this film morally correct? These questions don’t matter. It is just a fictional account of two characters who make horrible choices.

When Nirmali and Sumon do something sick, Nirmali walks away with a smile in as Quan Bay’s soothing and lovely music plays in the background. This depicts how evil she has turned. This made Aamis the most subtle horror film I’ve ever seen. Aamis made me uncomfortable like no other movie did. There is no gore, no graphic violence or no violent images. It made me uncomfortable for the right reasons. By playing with my mind. No other movie did this. Ever.

Aamis is set for a release on November 22, 2019. Kindly add it to your watchlist and watch it on a big screen, I urge you. You’ll never see anything like this.

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