S Durga

S Durga

S Durga “takes you on a night ride with the beasts that assume human shapes”.

Director: Sanal Kumar Sasidharan
Cinematographer: Prathap Joseph
Starring: Rajshri Deshpande, Bilas Nair, Arun Sol
India theatrical release date:
Genre: Meaningful Cinema, Drama, Fantasy, Horror
Language: Malayalam
Duration: 1 hour 25 mins


Nominations & Awards

WINNER, Tiger Award
Rotterdam International Film Festival 2017
“For its daring and resourceful approach in creating a mood of constant tension, providing an insight into multi-layered power dynamics of gender, class and authority.”

WINNER, Golden Apricot
Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival 2017

Nominee, Asia Pacific Screen Award for Achievement in Directing
Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2017

Nominee, Grand Prix
Split International Festival of New Film 2017

Nominee Best, International Feature Film
Edinburgh International Film Festival 2017

WINNER, Special Jury Mention
MAMI (Mumbai Film Festival)

WINNER, Best feature film
Geneva International Film Festival

WINNER, Young jury award for Best Film
Pesaro International Film Festival, Italy

WINNER, Special Jury Award for Music & Direction
Cinemajove, Valencia, Spain

WINNER, Jury Award for Best Cinematography, Zerkalo
Tarkovsky Film Festival, Russia



The Hindu has initiated a poll: “Film buffs have put together a grass roots movement for controversial film S Durga’s commercial distribution, release, and exhibition. Is this a viable way for Indie films to find space in theatres?”


Excerpts & Links to reviews

Review of S Durga in Hollywood Reporter and in Variety


“The kind of film where its impact hits you when you are back home and stop to wonder what the heck all that was about. Sasidharan manages to impart a substantial amount of social commentary, skewering religion with great delight, complete with blaring death metal music and face masks that represent the devil. F*ck God, the film says, jump on board and ride with the devil. In a world where humans have degraded themselves to a vastly dangerous and demeaned species, who only use religion to commit atrocities, you are better off siding with the princes of darkness.”

Rating: 3 stars | Full review

Mihir Fadnavis, First Post
Mihir Fadnavis
“S Durga is a road thriller but it uses the genre’s plot devices and the intensifying, claustrophobic rhythm of imminent threat to a different effect. Here the fear, the possibilities, the anticipation of the unknown generates a foreboding that’s scarily real.”

Rating: 3.5 stars | Full review

Suparna Sharma, Deccan Chronicle
Suparna Sharma


“Cleverly portrays how baffling male egos can be – the eagerness to be protectors and guardians, and how society blindly approves of this bloated machismo… Cinema isn’t dying in this age of show of opulence and flashy modern technology; it is just discovering new styles of narration to stay afloat and emerge stronger than before.”

| Full review

Aswathy Gopalakrishnan, Silver Screen
Aswathy Gopalakrishnan
“Neither preachy nor propagandist but a brilliant portrayal of an unfortunate social condition and an exploration of the visual language.”

| Full review

G Ragesh, Malayala Manorama
G Ragesh


“A stunning piece of cinema that forces the audience to re-examine the world of fear, claustrophobia and animalistic viciousness that surrounds women.”

Rating: 5 stars | Full review

Shriram Iyengar, Cinestaan
Shriram Iyengar
“The cinematographer (Prathap Joseph) goes with the couple’s fears and insecurities capturing, not the outside world that creates these negative thoughts but the emotions that flow from within the couple as they try to remain calm under stress.”

| Full review

Subhash K Jha, Free Press Journal
Subhash K Jha


“A political statement, questioning the hypocritical nature of patriarchy ingrained in the society we live in… Cinematographer Prathap Joseph explores a wide range of angles. But he refrains from close-ups or extreme close-ups to convey the fear on the face of the protagonists.”

| Full review

Nirmal Jovial, The Week
Nirmal Jovial
“Sanal Kumar Sasidharan uses his obsession for long single takes to make the experience absorbing and intense. The camera pans away from the interiors of the car to the scary and lonely darkness of the road.”

Rating: 3.5 stars | Full review

Aswin Bharadwaj, Lensmen
Aswin Bharadwaj


“With spontaneous dialogues and the night as the backdrop, S Durga offers a slice of reality, rather than a formulaic story.”

Rating: 3 stars | Full review

Asha Prakash, The Times of India
Asha Prakash
“In crafting a terrorizing film that takes you on a night ride with the beasts that assume human shapes, he has… compellingly stripped a stained society of its genteel masquerade and makes it stand stark naked before you, unleashing the uncontainable fiends that wordlessly roam within.”

| Full review

Velu Nair, Veeyen
Velu Nair




S Durga on IMDB


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