Rating: 3.5/5

Assamese film Village Rockstars has been declared as India's official entry to Oscars 2019 under the best foreign film category over at least 29 other films including high budget entries like Padmavat, Raazi, Manto etc. 

Naturally, the expectations of the viewers are high and the film does not disappoint. Well, almost. 

Director Rima Das’ movie is more than just a story of a young girl Dhunu who wants to buy an electric guitar and form a band with her friends. The relaxed pace of the movie remains constant even while covering social issues such as gender and class inequality.

Scenes such as when lead character Dhunu was scolded for being ‘un-girly’ and hanging out with the boys or climbing trees and the Assamese traditions when a girl comes of age will tug your heartstrings without being overbearing. 

Assam floods is another issue which is covered in the movie. In spite of such content, the movie doesn’t feel heavy or intense with Das’ use of the villagers’ innocence as a humour tool. Kids are shown innocently saying ‘Ban the Floods, Ban the Floods’ which can never be a reality as one cannot ban the floods.

The lesser-known star cast makes the story more authentic. The sunset shots and ambient sounds such as those of raindrops, the chirping of birds will keep you engaged throughout. 

However, coming to the drawbacks, the movie felt a tad disjointed with so many parallel plots and stories. Dhunnu’s guitar fixation, the crux of the movie seems to have disappeared from the movie in the middle, only to suddenly reappear in the end.  

The mellow vibe may not appeal the masala audience looking for drama and action. The length and slow pace may have been a tad overkill too. It is a feature film with an essence of a documentary, ideal for a relaxed weekend watch and a movie we would definitely re-visit to enjoy the natural vibe.