The Ryan International School case, where a second std student was murdered in the school toilet by a fellow student, casts its shadow over the light-hearted Bengali film Haami, which released in cinema halls across the country this Friday. One of the primary characters, a student of class two, has recently-moved to Kolkata from Gurugram. Her parents carry with them the on-the-edge paranoia of people exposed to the horrors that the hostile valley of NCR .
In Haami, a seven-year-old boy lands a peck on the cheek of his classmate and this act lands his parents into all kinds of trouble. Haami is supposed to be a humorous take on a serious topic, something director-duo Shiboprosad Mukherjee and Nandita Roy found difficult to handle. “The paranoia is not altogether unreasonable. Parents are well within their rights to be cautious about the safety of their children. But where do we draw the line?” asks Mukherjee, in an interview with InUth.
Mukherjee says that his intention, like in his previous films Posto (2017), Praktan (2016) and Belasheshe (2015), was to hold a mirror to the society. “We hand over our phones and tablets to our kids to distract them, do we know what they are watching though? Do we delete our browser history. Let’s face it, kids today are exposed to a lot of inappropriate stuff. Things that they cannot possibly process. Obviously, their behaviour reflects that very fact,” says Mukherjee.
Mukherjee and Roy, who have faced criticism for promoting retrograde themes in Praktan and Posto, feel that Haami will force the middle-class Bengali audience to think beyond the obvious. “There are cameras in schools, cameras in toilets, cameras in buses and corridors. The fundamental human value of trust is slowly disappearing. Our kids can no longer be kids in this atmosphere,” he says.