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I.D: Identity & its crises

A young woman from Sikkim, and a daily wage earner who works as a house painter – two migrants in search of livelihood in the City of Dreams… When the painter (played by Murari Kumar) collapses while painting her rented accommodation and passes into coma, the woman (brilliantly played by Geetanjali Thapa), driven by a sense of responsibility embarks on a search across Mumbai to locate people who could know him – but is handicapped by the man’s absolute lack of identity.

I.D. (2012), a confident debut by Kamal K.M. is a searing look at migration and the issues of identity and class-differences that it throws up. A cinematic tour-de-force, the film’s pacing displays an urgency that accentuates the protagonist’s voyage through the labyrinths of the megalopolis, revealing aspects that highlight the glaring contradictions of an aspirational India. Brilliantly shot, the cinematography by Madhu Neelakandan adopts an improvisatory approach in the scenes involving the protagonist’s interactions with myriad people she meets in the course of her search, lending an immediacy to the plot that opens up gaping wounds.

I.D. is full-throttled good cinema that needs to be seen and recommended. I had seen it a few years ago, and am so happy (and disturbed) to watch it again. Catch up with it on MUBI before it is taken off – and pass on the word. This is a film that cannot be missed.

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