Duvidha ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

'I am the desire under every woman's skin' said the spirit to the man who's wife he had loved for the four years the latter was away. 'Bhoot' has been translated as 'the ghost' but it 'the spirit' does more justice to this piece. I see the spirit as a supernatural metaphor to highlight the duality of a husbands roles- the lover and the bread winner. The ghost lover comes days after the marriage and is literally bottled on the birth of a child. This film beautifully captures female desire behind the viel of the young wife in rural Rajasthan.
On another note, the banyan tree is a refuge for wandering souls and represents the permanent spiritual reality in Hindusim. What I did not know, however, was that married women tie seven strings around these trees to secure their married lives. The film poignantly ends with the widrawal of widowhood in the woman's eyes- her husband is back, but her lover, gone.
Mani Kaul, with his boxed compositions and shift between live action and stills is able to create a vision that capable of evoking desire. To top it off, the shifts in voice from narrations of the woman and the ghost to dialogues created a sense of intimacy that I felt a part of.