Ship of Theseus


Action / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 99%
IMDb Rating 8.1 10 5180


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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by nipease 8 / 10

Three related stories of life choices

A chance encounter at a bus shelter with a young Indian couple at the Toronto Film festival brought me an unexpected gift: a thumb drive with a wonderful movie on it. They merely asked why the entrance to the bus shelter faced away from the street....not ever having experienced Canadian Winter slush splashed up by passing vehicles! It took me some months to set aside the three hours to set up the computer and see this philosophical work on a home screen.And I did wonder where we were going in the first part, was hooked by the second part, and finally understood by the end of the third part. Sure, the length makes it unsuitable for most north American theaters, but intrepid film lovers will appreciate this heartfelt effort to interpret the human condition.

Reviewed by Lukesh Patil 10 / 10

I feel this is one of the greatest movie in Indian Cinema


This movie is directed by Anand Gandhi.This is his first full length movie.This movie is not a commercial film but an art film.It has won many awards nationally and internationally.This movie is philosophical and intellectual.To me this is the life changing movie.This movie will stir your intellectual thoughts.Watching this movie will be an exercise to your brain also.This movie is not a movie with item songs,exaggeration and impractical unnecessary stunts where you can go for a break of 5 to 10 minutes and you will not miss the link in the story.To understand this movie you have to focus on the movie and concentrate on it.If you do not pay attention to the movie then you will not understand the movie and fall asleep.I have seen this movie many many times and every time I found something new in this movie.Although the budget of the movie is not very much but director has used money very smartly and properly.Direction and cinematography is at its best.I feel this is one of the greatest art movies in Indian cinema.

The name of this film is based on the paradox 'ship of Theseus'.Which means that if ship needed repair,and it was replaced part by part,up to a point where all of its parts are replaced and there is not a single part from the original ship remained in it.Then is it still the same ship? And if all the discarded parts were used to build another ship then which of the two ship is the real ship.

We can divide this movie into three parts.First you will feel that all the three parts are independent but at the end of the movie you can see connection between all the three parts.

First part is a story of a blind Arabic photographer who lives in Mumbai with her boyfriend.She lost her eyesight in cornea infection.She is a good photographer and has its own thoughts of life.She is inspired by the character of perfumer in Suskind's novel which is about just the idea of a man trying to capture every scent,starting from people to surrounding and experiences.She does a photography for blind people.She uses only black and white color to get more control over it.She gets new eyes by transplantation after that she gets so much overwhelmed by seeing the new world which she couldn't see before.After that she is no more able to focus on her photography.

Second story is about a Jain monk Maitreya,who has own thoughts about human,animals,life,existence and universe.He is fighting a case against cosmetic companies who test their products on animals.He is pure vegetarian and believes that we should not kill animals for the sake of our taste.He gets afflicted by the liver cirrhosis and he needs a liver transplantation for that.But for that he needs to take a lot of medicines.He refuses to take the medicines because he finds that these medicines are made by killing the animals.He feels that if he takes medicine then he will be indirectly responsible for the killing of animals.Which is against his principles.You will find what happens next by watching the movie.

Third part is about a stockbroker Naveen who lives in Mumbai with his grandmother.He is more obsessed with making money than anything else.He don't want to know what is happening around and he is busy with his own life.He has a very intellectual grandmother.She explains him the meaning and purpose of life and the importance of giving.His kidney gets transplanted from someone.He thinks that this kidney is stolen from some poor man Shankar.But later he finds that Shankar's kidney is stolen by some foreigner.So he tries to help that poor person.You will know rest of the part after watching movie.

At the end of the movie you can see connection between all the 3 parts.Three of these people has one thing in common that one of the organ of these three people is transplanted from the same person.To understand the ending scene of the movie you should know Plato's allegory of the cave and should be able to relate the things.

This film shows a ground reality and each and every scene f this film makes a sense.If you think that any scene is not necessary in the film then it means that you didn't understood the scene and should watch it again.A lot of symbolism is used in this film so you have to think about it and find a meaning from it.This film is not obsessed with any kind of partial thoughts and ideas.It is completely balanced and have high morals.This film is worth to watch at least once.It has changed my life and way of thinking.If you watch it carefully and with purpose it may change yours also.

Reviewed by Prabhat Rayal 9 / 10

Humane, Thought-Provoking and Philosophical

Not everyone will enjoy this film. It might be dry for someone's taste because they won't get item songs, comedy, cheesy dialogues and gravity defying action scenes. So go through the review once, if you don't like serious art house films. This movie is very different from the other Indian films that I have ever seen. It is not for everyone because not everyone enjoys serious cinema or artistic films. This film challenges the viewer's mind by giving them some food for thought.

It is the best Indian Indie-film (Along with The Lunchbox) I have ever seen and one of the few Indian films that can compete with foreign films when it comes to artistic and aesthetic values.

Ship of Theseus is a story about three different persons. The first story is about a blind girl who uses her hearing and imagination to click photographs. But then she gets an eye-transplant and everything changes. She can not use her hearing and imagination anymore because her eyes keep distracting her. She is not the same person she used to be or is she? If your body parts are replaced, are you still the same person?

The second story is about a monk who is an animal rights activist and is fighting the case against animal cruelty and torture in medical laboratories. Once he gets ill and refuses to take medicines at first because they were made by the same medical labs that torture animals. He gets stuck in a moral dilemma and in the end he decides to take the medication. It is clear that he changed his rules and morals. He also gets an organ transplant. So, is he still the same person?

The third story is about a stock-broker who is interested in money only. He gets a kidney transplant and finds out that his kidney might have been stolen from a poor guy. he feels guilty and tries to help the person. In this process, he comes to know that his kidney was not a stolen one. So he tries to find the person who is having the poor guy's kidney. He is hell bent on fighting for the justice for the poor person. In the end, we see a changed stock-broker who is not all about the money. So is he the same guy? In all the three stories, the central character is in a quandary and seeks answers to his questions. The film deals with the questions of Identity, Justice, Morals, Life and death with the help of these three stories which seem disjointed.

These questions are asked again and again and that is why Ship of Theseus is brilliant. In the end, we see all the protagonists sitting together and enjoying a movie about the person whose organs were donated to them. That person happens to be a cave explorer. So these three protagonists are having the organs which were harvested from the same person. The first one is having his eyes, the second one is having a different organ and the third one is having his kidney. There were more people sitting with them so almost all of his organs were donated to different people. Now, recall the Ship of Theseus paradox and you will find something interesting. This is a spellbinding climax which stays with you for a very long time.

Ship of Theseus shows that we have the potential to make great films. Anand Sharma deserves a standing ovation for this film. The way he captures everything is mesmerizing. It gave me the similar feeling that Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life did. You can not really complain about anything because you will not find a fault with this film. The cinematography is beautiful and one of the best I have seen in Indian films albeit they didn't use any expensive camera. Camera techniques used by the DOP are brilliant. Kudos to Pankaj Kumar for scoring a perfect 10 here. The guy surely does know his work.

The direction is flawless, The screenplay is engrossing and all the actors do a great job, specially Neeraj Kabi as the ailing monk. However the story is the soul of this film which makes it spectacular. It explores the Ship of Theseus Paradox artistically (It is not a completely accurate depiction but serves the message anyway).

Whats riveting about Ship of Theseus is that seldom do you see Indian films speaking the language of pure cinema (atleast nowadays) instead of narrating and spoon feeding everything to the audience. Ship of Theseus does that without any hurdles. The director does not spoon feed you everything. He shows you the imagery and wants you to know what is going on inside the heads of those characters with the help of their expressions.

Every crew member deserves applause for making such a great film. They made a film which is much more thought-provoking and meaningful than what Bollywood has put forward in last 20 years or so and they did this with the help of a DLSR camera? and a debutant director did this? Anand Sharma has a bright future ahead of him. In the end, I would like to say that movies like The Lunchbox, Ankhon Dekhi and Ship of Theseus have rebuilt my hope for Indian cinema. I hope they keep making such films.

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