“Nothing like this has ever come out of India” – Anurag Kashyap
How far would you go to feed your desire?
Questions of excess and principle are already in play when private-practice clinician Niri (Lima Das) goes out of her way to treat a patient’s emergency bout of nausea. Rather than food poisoning, she attributes his extreme illness to recklessly gorging himself. When debriefing with his friend Sumon (Arghadeep Barua) afterwards, Niri learns that both of them belong to a club dedicated to preparing fresh, rather than processed, meat, and that Sumon’s dissertation even focuses on regional meat-eating traditions across India. Sparks fly, but Niri is married, although her husband, also a doctor, is often absent for field work.
The pair’s mounting, unvoiced desire sets the stakes for Aamis, in which surface-level innocence becomes loaded with a significance beyond control. Through initially innocuous text conversations, Sumon and Niri grow closer, and begin to explore their blossoming connection through excursions to restaurants, in search of increasingly niche meat-based delicacies. In a patient and understated build, Bhaskar Hazarika folds in class commentary and dreamlike interludes, but saves the film’s most surprising and shocking gambit—and aftermath—for the third act, capping off an unforgettable meditation on taboo and transgression.
Both a wicked satire of the sexual repression of the Assamese professional classes and the “slow” food movement, AAMIS is a titillating, brilliantly-written romantic thriller of erotic displacement and sensual obsession.
Lima Das as Nirmali brings to IFFSA audiences one of the most memorable Indian heroines in recent memory in a performance so self-assured and riveting it’s hard to believe this is her feature film debut and that in real life she’s an endodontist. As dark as it is funny, as depraved as it is romantic, you won’t want to miss AAMIS.
Bhaskar Hazarika’s debut film KOTHANODI (2015) was a recipient of Asian Cinema Fund’s Post Production Fund, and premiered at Busan International Film Festival 2015, in addition to screening at BFI London Film Festival, Goteborg Film Festival, and Jio MAMI Film Festival, among others. AAMIS (RAVENING) is Bhaskar’s second feature film.