The sprawling city of Mumbai plays host to three stories in Ruchika Oberoi’s masterful feature debut. First there is an office worker who toils in his soulless corporation’s cubicle farm, and is specially selected by the company to have a day of “fun.” In the second tale, a wife and mother unexpectedly finds relief from her tyrannical husband’s control, and decides to treat her family to a new television set, where they find joy and solace in a popular soap. Finally, a woman resigned to a loveless future in an arranged marriage finds new hope when she receives love letters from an unknown source.
Oberoi brilliantly plays with genre as her film effortlessly shifts from absurdist comedy to escapist fantasy to realist drama (there’s even a tinge of science fiction). Though each character’s journey is markedly different, their goals are similar: to push back against the demands forced on them without any regard for their personal desires. The solutions each of them finds are not always happy, but they punctuate rich and complicated journeys that are sure to stay in the mind long after the credits roll. Oberoi’s unique vision won the Best Young Director Award of the Venice Days section at the 2015 Venice Film Festival.
- Ruchika Oberoi
Ruchika Oberoi is an alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India. ISLAND CITY is her debut feature film. The film’s script participated in the NFDC Screenwriters’ Lab 2012, which was held in Venice alongside the Venice Film Festival, and at the Film Bazaar in Goa.