Inside Out review: Catamaran (Kattumaram)

Drama set in a small fishing village recovering from a tsunami beautifully captures the queerness of daily life


CATAMARAN (KATTUMARAM) (Swarnavel Eswaran, India). 72 minutes. Rating: NNNNN


This film is a beautiful rendering of the queerness of daily life and adjusting to change after loss.

A small fishing village is still recovering from a tsunami that devastated families, destroyed homes and diminished the fishing trade. 

Singaram (Mysskin) is trying to fulfill his duty of marrying off his niece Anandhi (Preeti Karan), who is a teacher and opposed to marrying a man. While financial strain has challenged the village’s traditional norms, he is a progressive leader whose generosity extends to all, including Alankaram (Selvam), the village’s aravani. 

The dialogue is minimal, with expressive gestures and stunning cinematography of the jungles, seashore and ruined homes of Akkampetai imparting the story’s emotional weight. With an ending that’s heartbreaking but also perfect and realistic, this is the best film I’ve seen about inherent queerness in South Asia, ever.

May 31, 7:15 pm, TIFF 1 

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