Sometimes it just takes a single instance of injustice, a brief outburst of anger to incite our masterfully ensconced feelings to suddenly break free. Who knows, whether Azaad, a weekly column writer, would have been born, had it not been for that one night of injustice in Mumbai?
Rahul Chittella’s award winning short film “Azaad” narrates a story of Vinod Durge (Atul Kulkarni), who has been leading a double life for more than twenty years. During the day he works for a tar company, doing his best to provide for the needs of his small middle-class family: wife Zainab (Sakshi Tanwar) and son Sameer (Siddharth Menon). It is the night that liberates him: that is when he turns into Azaad, an independent writer and a fierce fighter for justice.
His reluctance to accept greater fees for his articles in fear of having to ultimately ‘sell himself’ and digress from the path of truth does not win sympathy of his college-going son. For Sameer, his father is a stubborn principled man who does not wish to mend his ways even if it is in the interest of his closest ones. However, everything changes soon after Azaad’s disappearance.
Rahul V. Chittella’s “Azaad” skillfully covers a multitude of issues, ranging from an interreligious marriage and a troubled father-and-son relationship to the faults in the education system and corruption. And yet every aspect is seamlessly interweaved with the leading theme of freedom of expression. “Azaad” is a dedication to all those who stand their ground against the backdrop of bigotry and hatred. For all those unbearable stories and angry voices, whom nothing can force to abandon the truth.