Kinnari: An ancient Indian stringed instrument, Southeast Asian mythology, Kinnaris, the female counterpart of Kinnaras, are depicted as half-bird, half-woman creatures. Alt: Someone who exhibits random outbursts of weirdness.
Written and directed by Christopher Di Nunzio, Kinnari is an introspective piece with just a touch of India. More tandoori than tikka masala, the flavour is less intrusive than it is tantalizingly on the edge of the palette.
David Graziano is David. A man looking at his life, savoring memories as he looks forward and backward at his existence. Remembering times past in distant locales, he carries on an internal dialogue with himself, while questioning the meaning of it all.
David thinks back to when he was younger and of his pursuit of the Kinnari (Jamie Joshi). A time when beauty and being in the moment was all. He is now lamenting his very loneliness as this empty existence has left him childless and without a partner.
The tone of the film is dark, yet full of philosophical questions and it serves as a sort of warning. David is older, dissatisfied with his situation and he realizes too late the folly of his younger self’s actions.
This under five minute monologue, filmed in black and white is full of colorful descriptions and contains just a hint of a mythological theme. Is the Kinnari to blame for David wasting his youth searching for the wrong things, or, in his autumn years is he making the creature a scapegoat?
Cinematographer Nolan Yee (A Life Not to Follow, Delusion, Trinity) manages to make each frame a testament to what David is thinking and doing. The lighting mixes into a deft collaboration of light and shadow that enhances the musings of a disaffected older man.
While the message seems to be one of “finding an answer” it feels more like a warning to others. Di Nunzio shows the impossibility of searching for that elusive beauty. The character of David believes that the woman he follows will allow him to live in that beauty forever.
This belief, that what they have can be trapped in a sort of existential amber; timeless and unchanged, is responsible for David’s current state of mind and solitary existence.
Di Nunzio presents his short tale in a somber yet compelling manner. As his protagonist muses his fate and the past that brought him here, the views move from the abstract to the fanciful. It is a journey that one feels must be followed to its conclusion.
Kinnari is a solid 3.5 star effort. Perhaps a bit to eclectic for some and a touch too philosophical for others, it is, nonetheless, presented in an interesting and absorbing manner.
Graziano, a personal favorite whose face speaks volumes, manages to make his character resentful, melancholic and fatalistic all in under five minutes.
This is an interesting project that bears watching not once, but several times. There are nuances in each scene; both from a character standpoint to the theme of each framed shot, that make themselves known with repeated viewings.
Christopher has given Mike’s Film Talk permission to share the entire film and we have included it below. Watch it and see what you think and please share your ideas.