Shadow Kill | Chicago Reader

Shadow Kill

The title of Adoor Gopalakrishnan's 2002 drama is said to come from an episode of the Mahabharata; the film also references an Indian myth, so perhaps those familiar with Indian culture will best appreciate it. The first part shows an elderly hangman in southern India in 1941 who's racked with guilt because he may have executed someone who was innocent; recoiling from an order to perform another execution, he drowns himself in alcohol. In the second, his friend tells him a story about a rape for which a girl's innocent lover was put to death. Gopalakrishnan's picture-book images don't capture his story's tonal shifts very well, and the script and acting aren't particularly compelling on their own. In Malayalam with English subtitles. 93 min.

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