Finally the film is releasing! I have been getting queries from my friends and friends' friends asking about “ How and Where to see this film” since last one year. Why me? Because I am “related” to someone very closely associated with the film. But hang on everyone, this is not a good / bad / paid review. I am writing how I felt watching AXONE . That’s it.
For those who don’t know, Axone or Akhuni is a dish from the North Eastern part of India. Various states among the 8 sisters use Axone in their cuisine in different forms and of course different names.
|The official poster|
Axone is fermented soya beans and because of the high protein content in these beans, in their
fermented stage, they smell like putrefaction. Well to many! The “stench” is such that when Delhi Police had a directive - “ Security tips for North east students / visitors in Delhi” in 2007- it mentioned Axone alongside bamboo shoots as a food item to be AVOIDED.
|Sayani Gupta and Tenzin Dalha in a scene from Axone|
Axone is a small quirky lighthearted take on some bigger issues. A group of friends
want to cook Axone pork for their friend who is getting married that day. How they manage to do that, hiding its overpowering smell and hiding / facing / moving on with the stench of soft racial discrimination all around. The place where this story is based, is not very far from where we used to live. Of course in 2004, the place was “little” different than what it has evolved to be now.
Written and directed by Nicholas Kharkongor and Produced by Yoodlee Films, Axone offers many moments which anyone from North East staying outside the 8 sisters can identify with. That is why when the trailer was released a year ago, people lapped it up. You go to the Axone trailer on Youtube and read the comments and you will understand what I am talking about. This has become an emotion for many from North East India, staying in various parts of India and the World.
|Lanuakam Ao / Bendang in Axone|
The film has some characters which are very stereotypical. I felt all the characters from the landlady's family were such. But they exist and Shiv aka Hyper steals the show with his "over enthusiasm". For every slur you receive, you wish you have a friend like Hyper who sticks with you without judging you.
Racial discrimination is an issue the world is battling with. As someone from Northeast India, I am not being biased to people from our part of the country. But in my 2 years in Delhi, I never disliked it. I still love visiting Delhi. Now living in Mumbai I have turned into a true blue Mumbaikar running in and out of local trains 5 days a week. ( That’s a validation my Bambaiyya dost log have given). Why Axone worked for me is because it tries to show both sides; though subtly, but it does and that’s the reason I root for this film.
Axone is releasing on Netflix on 12th June 2020. Go watch it and share your thoughts. I bet you have never seen this part of Delhi in any other Hindi film :)
Poster credits : Yoodlee films and Parasher Baruah.