27 September, 2020

Jalpari: The Desert Mermaid

Warm and empathetic: an engaging story which sustains the viewer’s, especially children’s, interest

Jalpari: The Desert Mermaid

Starring: Lehar Khan, Parvin Dabas, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Suhasini Mulay
Directed by Nila Madhab Panda
Rating: ***

What happens when two city-bred kids travel to their dusty Haryana village for a vacation? Adventure, which also comes packed with significant life lessons. It’s not the idyllic village of their dreams but a problem-ridden place with dried up ponds, unfriendly villagers, unspoken secrets, out-of-bounds spaces, a “child-eating” daayan (witch) and no girls, a reason why wives are “imported” from New Jalpaiguri.

From the start, it’s evident that Jalpari comes with a cause attached: it is on the alarming, dwindling sex ratio. But it is not a boring coaching class. The story is narrated in an engaging manner, like an Enid Blyton mystery, which sustains the viewer’s, especially children’s,...



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