Manish Mundra, the founder of Drishyam Films, makes his directorial debut with Siya, a movie based on the seemingly endless tales of rapes from Uttar Pradesh.
It tells the story of a girl’s courageous but heartbreaking struggle against injustice and oppressive structures. Siya might have turned out to be a different movie if it had been in the hands of different actors.
In the movie Siya, a 17-year-old girl named Siya (Pooja Pandey) who hails from a small village in north India is the main character.
The film starts off by showing her sharing a strong bond with her younger brother. They share a room and it appears that every night, she tells him a bedtime story. Before the movie takes a dark, terrifying turn, it turns out that this is the sole instance of warmth it provides.
Siya’s life has its share of difficulties, she gave up her studies to help support her family financially. She gets most of the work done at home and while out in the village, she is tackling eve teasers who make her life hell.
On her way to the bus stop one day, she is waylaid by the stalkers. Kept in captivity for several days, she emerges from the ordeal bruised scarred, and emotionally scarred.
After Siya suddenly goes missing, her worried parents and her family’s lawyer friend Mahender (Vineet Kumar Singh) decide to file an FIR after she is unable to be found by day’s end. The corrupt policeman, though, orders them to leave. Mahender tries his luck every day in an attempt to find the missing girl, but he never succeeds. To his good fortune, a local journalist contacts him and offers to write about the missing Siya.
As a result of the complaint, the local minister jumps into action and instructs the police officer to look for the girl. A few hours later, she is freed from an abandoned home and her kidnappers are apprehended. Siya is then brought before the court, where she describes the heartbreaking trauma she goes through in the days leading up to her disappearance.
Siya demands justice after being gang-raped and longs to return to her family. The time it takes for the accused to be freed from custody is short compared to the time spent behind prison. What happens next is Siya’s struggle to expose a larger secret that comes to light during the investigation in addition to her battle to obtain the accused the proper amount of punishment.
Siya reminds us of the shocking Unnao rape case of 2017.
Manish Mundra, a director, and co-writer gives a fictionalized account of a woman’s fight for justice after being the victim of rape, despite similarities in the circumstances. Siya is triggering, the least to say. You feel outraged after watching the movie since it contains situations that resemble society as a whole.
When a rape case is reported, people frequently read in the media about details like extended court cases, delays in filing FIRs, and deaths of people connected to the victim. The effect of Manish’s immaculate recreation of these scenes on the big screen is immeasurable.
The acting in the movie is excellent, particularly by Vineet Kumar Singh and Pooja Pandey, who is making her acting debut. For the most part, Pooja is silent in the movies. Despite the silence on film, she commands attention with her compelling acting. Vineet assists her throughout the movie while maintaining a low profile so as not to overshadow Pooja. They effortlessly carry the movie.