Paywat: The Road Less Travelled is a heart-touching tale of an obstinate school girl named Maydi. The film is the work of Aatpat Productions, the production house of Nagraj Manjule who made headlines for his blockbuster hit film Sairat. Like his other films, Paywat too received the National Award for the Best Education Film back in 2015. The film portrays a day in the life of an ordinary school-going girl, and is now streaming on ZEE5.
You can watch the film here.
The film is an account of Maydi’s journey full of struggles to reach school. Maydi’s parents are labourers and hence leave for work in the morning. The responsibilities of taking care of the house and her bedridden grandmother are passed onto the little girl, who does it all without complaint. She gladly accepts the unfavourable circumstances around her and finishes her daily chores before heading to school. Her silent fight to pursue education and eventually free herself doesn’t go unnoticed as we get attached to her life from the very first scene of the film. As the scenes move ahead, we are in awe of Maydi’s willpower as we see her doing routine chores like cooking, cleaning, and getting her young brother ready for school. It’s a continuous struggle but she still doesn’t give up. Maydi travels a long distance to finally reach her school with a smile on her face. She realises that the only escape from the hardships is education and hopes to see her life changing, somewhere down the line.
The sub-title of the film seems quite apt to Maydi’s life who journeys on an unknown frontier to acquire education. She takes the road less travelled to follow her dream. The film is an eye-opener because just like the protagonist, there are several school-girls in India who are burdened with housework. Unfortunately, some of them lose hope and give up on education eventually. That’s where Maydi’s story comes across as inspirational. Despite having minimal dialogues, the film manages to create an impact through its flawless sound design. In a 15-minute span, Paywat creates magic on screen with the help of raw sound effects of a rustic village. Another interesting thing about the film is that it was shot within a period of three days. It’s amazing how the makers could come up with this beautifully crafted piece of cinema in such a short time.
The film which looks like a fictional story is actually semi-autobiographical in nature and we realise that only after the end credits roll on the screen. The director Mithunchandra Chaudhari has dedicated the film to his sister who went through the same struggles on a daily basis. Through Paywat, Mithunchandra has depicted the authentic emotional experiences of his childhood from the perspective of Maydi. This film was screened in various international film festivals and we recommend everyone to watch it for the inspirational story.
Watch this short film exclusively on ZEE5. Do let us know what you think about this film in the comment section.
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