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Frozen – movie review

A black and white film


Frozen, movie review

Frozen is a Black and White Hindi feature film shot entirely in locations in Ladakh at about 12,000 feet above sea level where the temperature range between -5 to -20 degrees. Debutant director Shivajee Chandrabhushan. Filmed entirely in black and white, it immaculately captures the cold and unrelenting hostility of the mighty Himalayas mountain range.

The story of Frozen revolves around a small family living an almost hand-to-mouth existence up in the mountains. Their lives change when the army sets up their camp next door. Presence of the armed forces and the undercurrents of terrorism and war bring about a disparity in the neat backdrop of this region.

Karma (Danny Denzongpa) a widower with a teenaged daughter Lasya (Gauri) and younger son Chomo (Angchuk) is burdened with looking after his family as well as earning his livelihood by the traditional seasonal business of apricot jam making. He is saddled with debts so the money lender Sharma (Yashpal Sharma) is eyeing to take over Karma’s ancestral home.

One season when Karma does not manage to do any business, he is in a sticky situation. The Indian Army has now based its camp in the vicinity of his house, which has added to his woes. Karma has to find out a way out of the crisis by handling the money lender and now even the lecherous local landlord Dawa (Zutshi) who has set his eyes on Karma’s beautiful girl Lasya.

How Karma and Lasya find a way out of this situation is what the film Frozen is about.

Director Shivajee Chandrabhushan has magnificently captured the other worldly beauty of the ice-capped Himalayan landscape and it is a visual treat with one radiant frame after the other. On one side it is the scenic beauty of the great mountain range, while on the other side a complete contrasting visuals of blasts and the armed forces ripping through the serene surroundings.

Daanny Denzongpa as the aging father who works hard to clear his debts makes a brilliant comeback in Bollywood. The talented debutants Gauri and Angchuk are so real and impressive. The opportunists Yashpal Sharma and Raj Zutshi again appear natural. Noteworthy performances from Aamir Bashir and Shakeel Khan.

It is an unusual experience watching this film with its outstanding direction and outstanding cinematography by Shanker Raman, except for its sluggish pace at several places. What is striking in Frozen the film is the starkness of Ladakh’s landscape which is more arresting in black and white. This one too is for the niche audience who appreciate out of the ordinary films.

Cast of Frozen:
Karma – Danny Denzongpa
Lasya – Gauri
Chomo – Skalzang Aungchuk
Sharma – Yashpal Sharma
Dawa – Raj Zutshi
Commanding Officer – Aamir Bashir
Romeo – Shakeel Khan
Salim – Sanjay Swaraj
Karma’s Wife – Shilpa Shukla
Tenzing – Denzil Smith

Credits & Crew Frozen:
Director: Shivajee Chandrabhushan
Producers: Shivaji Chandrabhushan, Phat Phish Productions
Written by: Shanker Raman
Cinematography: Shanker Raman
Music Director: John P. Varkey
Film editor: Shan Mohammed
Frozen, movie review