Unraveling the Magic: A Cinematic Journey through Raam Reddy’s “The Fable”

In the enchanting realm of magical realism, Raam Reddy’s visually stunning and politically charged film, “The Fable,” invites viewers on a journey that transcends the boundaries of time and perception. Set against the backdrop of a lush Himalayan orchard in 1989 northeastern India, Reddy’s cinematic masterpiece unfolds as a tapestry of idyllic memories, gradually unraveling to reveal hidden dimensions of truth and introspection.

A Glimpse into Paradise:
“The Fable” introduces us to a family of four, led by the enigmatic patriarch, Dev (portrayed by the brilliant Manoj Bajpayee), who oversees the once-colonial estate with the assistance of local villagers. Reddy’s exquisite cinematography captures the pristine beauty of the landscape, inviting viewers into a world of tranquility and serenity. Yet, beneath the surface lies an undercurrent of mystery and intrigue, as the discovery of a burnt apple blossom tree sets off a chain of events shrouded in fear and suspicion.

A Flight of Fantasy:
The film’s unbroken opening shot sets the stage for a journey beyond the realms of ordinary perception. As Dev embarks on his morning routine, the camera follows him with an unassuming grace, until the revelation of his extraordinary secret: a pair of magnificent wings crafted from wood hawk feathers. With seamless authenticity, Reddy intertwines elements of fairy tale with the mundane, blurring the lines between reality and imagination.

A Tapestry of Intimacy:
Against the backdrop of Dev’s magical revelation, “The Fable” delves into the intimate dynamics of familial relationships. From the spirited presence of Dev’s wife, Nandini, to the precocious innocence of his son, Juju, and the return of his daughter, Vanya, from college, Reddy crafts a nuanced exploration of love, loss, and the passage of time. Through moments of quiet reflection and tender exchanges, the film invites audiences to navigate the complexities of human emotion and connection.

A Cinematic Ode to Nostalgia:
Shot on 16mm film, “The Fable” embraces the imperfections and nuances of its medium, evoking a sense of nostalgia and longing for a bygone era. Reddy and cinematographer Sunil Borkar masterfully capture the essence of celluloid, imbuing each frame with the scratches, fading, and magenta hues reminiscent of old and battered film prints. Watching “The Fable” becomes an act of rediscovery, as childhood fables intertwine with harsh realizations about the world and the passage of time.

In conclusion, Raam Reddy’s “The Fable” transcends the confines of conventional storytelling, weaving a mesmerizing tapestry of magic, reality, and introspection. As viewers embark on this cinematic odyssey, they are reminded of the transformative power of storytelling to illuminate the human experience and uncover the hidden truths that lie within.


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