By Bedika :
Debutante director Arati Kadav says her film Cargo, which has been praised for ingeniously marrying science-fiction with Indian mythology, was her attempt to arrive at some understanding about the existential questions that have bothered her for a long time. A software engineer-turned-filmmaker, Kadav struggled for years to get her film off the ground and all the critical-acclaim coming her way has given the director hope about continuing her journey in the sci-fi genre, an area that remains neglected in Indian cinema.
Kadav, who is a self-confessed science-fiction nerd consuming all kinds of literature related to the genre, said the film will appeal to everyone who has ever pondered over questions related to life. “I keep thinking about questions like ‘What is the meaning of life? Is there a purpose?’ These are the things that have obsessed me for years. Science-fiction acts like a prism through which you can look at life and examine what is valuable because as a civilisation, we are always told what we should value... “It’s not like I have a solution for it but I keep toying with these ideas to arrive at something that will impart some meaning to me,” Kadav told PTI.
The movie, which released on Netflix last month, is set in the future where demons and humans have learnt to exist together peacefully. Demons have entered the space age, which is why most of the story takes place on a spaceship named Pushpak 634A where a lonely demon, Prahastha (Vikrant Massey) recycles and prepares dead humans for rebirth. His routine of years is disrupted with the arrival of an enthusiastic female astronaut, Yuvishka (Shweta Tripathi Sharma).
Kadav said while both Prahastha, named after Ravana’s army commander, and Yuvishka work at a post-death immigration-like centre for humans, they also get influenced and evolve in the process of their work. Asked about pulling out details from Indian mythology, the filmmaker said she wanted to create something that did not remind people of Hollywood science-fiction movies. “I wanted to ensure that it’s an Indian sci-fi and not copied from somewhere. I wanted it to belong to the Indian subcontinent. What’s remarkable about Indian subcontinent is that we have a rich mythology and we can’t ignore the magical stories of our collective consciousness,” she added.