Ship of Theseus – Not a Film, But An Experience

Ship of Theseus is a 2013 Indian drama film written and directed by Anand Gandhi, and produced by actor Sohum Shah.

The film explores “questions of identity, justice, beauty, meaning and death through the stories of an experimental photographer, an ailing monk and an enterprising stockbroker”

These roles are essayed by Aida El-Kashef, Neeraj Kabi and Sohum Shah respectively

The title of the film alludes to Theseus’ paradox, most notably recorded in “Life of Theseus“, wherein the Greek historian and philosopher Plutarch inquires whether a ship that has been restored by replacing all its parts remains the same ship.

After having watched this, I apologise, not watched but Experienced as I always choose to describe this movie I will talk about the same

So, shall we figure out what makes me write about a Movie that’s 7 Years Old?

Let’s Find Out!

  • Till date, I regret the moment I missed THE EXPERIENCE of watching this Movie in a Theater
  • This is my 5th attempt of watching this movie and I have to say: It just keeps getting Better!
  • Every time, you experience this spectacle you discover something you missed on prior viewings

If I begin to start asking what doesn’t work?

Now That would be considered Sacrilege!

And Why is that? Well, EVERYTHING WORKS!

  • To begin with, the concept of talking about the Paradox in the form of a movie is exemplary
  • In order to break it down, Gandhi & Ranka create a story layered enough to drill down the essence of what we are to look at
  • Gandhi further fleshes out the screenplay as each narrative emphasises on certain aspects
  • The narrative is seamless and just flows from one story to another
  • As we move along with this flow, so do we see ideals, beliefs and notions staring us right in the face
  • This Ship of Theseus chooses to address all of Beauty, Righteousness, Justice and many other notions through the strands of it’s screenplay
Neeraj Kabi
  • There are many other thoughts raised by Anand Gandhi during various plot points as the characters keep progressing in their individual journeys
  • We see the display of identity, existence, death and many more aspects which our protagonists go through
  • The Screen play is powerful enough to thrust them in our faces without the need of hammering it home
  • The power is so subtle that you don’t even know it and you have started thinking about it
  • The Final Sequence hits the ball out of the park by tying in all 3 plots to Theseus’s Paradox
Aida Al-Khashef
  • The Dialogues are exquisite, quirky, witty, introspective and everything in between
  • They enhance the effect of all that I described above and make it believable
  • It’s a beautiful Amalgamation of Screenplay and Dialogues along with another aspect: The Performances
  • Before we move to the performances though, there are 2 other aspects that cannot be ignored
  • The Music is Solemn, Haunting, Serene and any other Adjective that you can think of which puts you at peace with the theme of this Ship
  • The Cinematography is matter of fact and captures the streets, nooks & crannies of our City just the way they are

The Performances?

  • This is the 3rd Anchor of Ship of Theseus that holds it together
  • The Central Protagonists in each story do an eclectic job of giving live wire performances
  • The Struggle in Al-Khashef’s intuition, Kabi’s trepidation of giving up ideals for the sake of survival and Shah’s quest for justice just for the sake of one right thing
  • The displays of these actions essayed by these actors is something truly extravagant
  • Apart from them, every other actor in this movie is not AN ACTOR
  • They are characters!
  • Characters we see, meet and experience in real life

The Verdict?

Once again, it would be Sacrilege to give a Verdict for An Experience
You do not label a verdict on something that cannot be described in words
  • This is my 5th attempt having experienced this movie
  • However, I still fail to describe it purely or perfectly in words
  • Believe me, I have struggled trying to pen this article
  • I implore each and every one to witness THIS EXPERIENCE

Ship of Theseus is one of the FINEST, or may I say, amongst the BEST movies to have been made in the last decade or so

It is a true indicator of how a seemingly complex notion can be translated so simply into visuals

And yet, makes sense and allows us to absorb the Essence of it All!

Hats off to Anand Gandhi/Sohum Shah & Team for giving us this Gem and to Kiran Rao for backing it and getting it the Theatrical Release it deserved!

This Movie is Truly Food For Thought



Leave a Reply