His Father's Voice (2019) Movie Script

Going halfway, that's
farther than yesterday.
Oh yeah that's fast, so fast.
All right so move
forward, right there.
Wanna relax, like I showed you?
Like your mom did?
Open your legs, open your legs.
Oh no, not like that.
Careful guys.
Relax, there we go.
You could climb up,
but Princess Nora
didn't know how to climb
so she got the chair, she
pulled it close to the cupboard.
She climbed on the
chair and tried to reach
to the little door where
the chocolate was kept.
But then...
She's abandoned in a forest,
pregnant and vulnerable.
That is not something you
do to the love of your life.
She trusted Rama.
She thinks it's
just a pleasure trip.
Imagine her agony
when she finds out what
was about to happen!
No wonder she throws
herself into the Ganga!
But Ganga protects her.
Her children are
born in the river.
Lava and Kusha.
Twin boys.
What's so marvelous about it?
The imagination of the writer.
Then, he
should have imagined a story
where Sita is treated better.
A woman would have written
the Ramayana differently.
The audience will
not accept that.
Don't you see the irony of it?
Rama exiled Sita to
satisfy his people
and you want to
give our audience
what you think they want?
The Ramayana works.
Just stick with it!
Where is the need
to get creative?
Rama had Sita pass through
the fire to test her purity.
Where do we stand
with this story?
We'll worry about
our audience later.
someone at the back gate.
The main entrance is
on the other side.
It used to be on this side.
I came through the forest.
May I come in?
Of course.
It would be easier
if you open the gate.
I think you can
let go of my hand now.
What is it to belong
to Sita's Universe?
Every dancer in our play
must find an answer
to that question.
I am looking for my father, Jon.
Skanda, you don't recognize me?
Where is my father?
You've grown so much!
Will you tell me
where my father is?
Jon is not here.
But he will return.
Your father disappears
often, days on end.
But he will return.
Please stay.
Do you really want me to stay?
Skanda, this is your home.
Valli, take him to Jon's room.
Would you like to
look around first?
You could leave your bag here.
I hope Jon comes back soon.
I wish he was already here.
We sell more tickets
when Jon's here.
Is that all you ever
think of, Sabapathi?
That is Kausalya.
Rama's mother.
Pining for Sita,
her daughter-in-law.
Rama's mother?
She loved Sita
like her own daughter.
That is Janaka.
Sita's father.
Sad, and angry,
at the same time.
Love the way it sounds!
Sanskrit is the
language of the Gods
What's the story?
It is the last
episode in the Ramayana.
What's so special
about the last episode?
It is where Lava
meets his father.
Yes, for the first
time since his birth.
How old is he?
Did his father send him away?
Something like that.
It's beginning to sound
a lot like my own story.
I have lost the habit.
It will come back.
This is Shiva.
and Skanda.
They have been here
for a few years now.
What happened to the house?
It was eaten from the inside.
Jon was hardly ever there.
It had to be re-built.
It's still here?
I drive it now.
Look at these kids!
They will play here
all the day long?
I did that too as a child.
Clay is good for the skin.
I'm sure it is.
The water is warm on the surface
and cool under it.
We should join them some time.
How about now?
We could leave you here
and pick you up on the way home.
Come on, it wouldn't be as fun
without you and the kids!
Dad, can we build
a mud pool at home?
Sure, Kris.
I would love that, Jon.
How did you meet Jon?
We met in Benares,
on the Ghats of the river Ganga.
My first trip to
India, with my parents.
Love at first sight?
Pretty much!
I think the way he
told me the story
of the Ganga, that
did it for me.
That's a beautiful story!
My parents went into
shock when I told them
I want to marry him
after being with him just a day.
You got married at Benares?
No, we never got married.
Of course, you did!
We call it the Gandharva vivaha.
Gandhar what?
That's when our
parents don't agree.
They will have to
accept Jon some day.
He makes a great father!
Yes, he does.
A father who can't say no.
Thank you.
Bed time?
Say good night to Mamma.
You guys have fun playing?
Let's go.
What does it mean?
She is telling her lover
paint a leaf design
on my breasts.
Put color on my cheeks.
Lay a girdle on my hips.
Twine my heavy
braid with flowers.
Fix a row of
bangles in my hands.
And jeweled anklets on my feet
She is good!
My mother is Indian, you know.
And your father?
Such a lovely combination!
Yes, it is, no?
That's him?
That's not Appa.
I see him like that.
With my imagination,
I make him my own.
Can you teach me?
Sure, Skanda.
It's easy.
But the imagination
is all yours.
He looks so different, Amma.
I like it!
Come, let me tie your dhoti.
I get a better view now!
That's Jon's room.
That portrait?
It's Jon.
You dance?
You look familiar.
Who are you?
I could have guessed by
that mole on your cheek!
How you have grown!
Kris, wait!
Welcome home.
You were playing Rama.
Were you just
pretending to miss Sita?
He looks so much like Jon.
I tried talking to him.
But he is not the Kris I know.
Who knows how
he has lived all these years?
His mother
cut us off completely.
I somehow feel
responsible for everything.
What's for dinner?
Chickpea salad.
Mmm, Sundal.
Parvathi, they are not going
to have any appetite
for my salad now.
It is an offering
from the Ganesha temple.
It's delicious!
It's very tasty, Amma.
I have upset her.
Kris, I got a new song for you
Show me.
It is simple.
You see.
Wanna try?
Try Valli.
Here we go.
The beginning.
And compassion.
Yes, anger.
Nice, Valli!
Something you are afraid of.
That bad smell and taste.
Astonishment, wonder!
It is peace.
The balance of all the emotions.
What is that again, Valli?
Kris, Valli, come.
Time for your lesson.
Mom, can we practice
a bit more time?
Clara, we are done now.
Go on.
These wind turbines
are built on high ridges,
on the sea coast,
or open plains.
That is because
there's a lot of space
and much wind can come.
Can't we build one here?
It'll be a little bit expensive
to do that.
And it's huge, they are huge!
They are most productive
if there are many together.
You see this little
small ladder here.
Imagine a human being here.
It's so huge!
And it takes
a long time to climb it.
Very long time to climb.
And it's much bigger than
the trees we have here.
So, sometimes they go up here
to actually clean or repair it.
Who wants to go to the beach?
We can study the
wind at the beach.
Okay, go on and change.
Come on
Meet you at the gate!
Come with us.
Yes mom, come with us!
Let it go, Parvathi.
I know why my mother
chose you, for me.
Because she knew, I
would always love you,
like she loved my father.
I think it is the
other way around.
She knew
I would always be with you.
You think your father
is still alive?
That's what my mother
believed, till the very end.
I choose to believe the same.
He wouldn't have let her
die, if he had been here.
She missed him a lot.
Absence can kill.
The only image I have
of him, is a picture.
Sometimes, I will
his image to move
and to say something to me.
He speaks.
I cannot hear his voice.
All this for a father
I haven't actually
known in my life.
How much more terrible
it must be for Kris?
I hope Jon returns soon.
I hope so too!
Lava is Rama's son!
He has been blessed
with the power
to invoke celestial
weapons at will.
Play it with a
little more gusto!
Look at how she's
playing Chandraketu!
Try to match that energy.
Vishwa, it's four, not five!
Kris, you do it!
Nice, Kris!
Thank you.
That's how it is done.
You did a good job, Kris.
Valli, Skanda,
come, walk with me.
Lovely evening, isn't it?
Yes, it is.
I would like to tell you a story
about my parents,
about your grandparents.
A long time ago,
when my mother Kannamma
was about your age,
there was a terrible
drought in this village.
Her teacher taught
her a composition
imbued with the power
to make it rain.
She prayed to the
Goddess Annapurna
for her blessings.
And the rain that
followed her dance
made Kannamma famous.
Do you know the
composition, Amma?
Yes Valli, I do.
I'll teach it to you some day.
I'd love to be
able to make it rain.
It's so cool.
I'd like to learn it too.
I'll teach you both then.
Now, for my story.
Kannamma made a
vow to the Goddess
to thank her for the rain.
She would dance at her
temple, at Devaprayag.
Where's Devaprayag?
It is where river Ganga begins,
up there in the Himalayas.
But she never made it there.
What happened?
Your grandfather was
with her on that journey.
They reached Haridwar,
100 kilometers
short of Devaprayag.
He left her there
by the river bank
to attend to a sick man
and never returned.
He was doctor, wasn't he?
My mother was
pregnant with me then.
But she didn't know it.
Neither did he.
What could have happened?
Kannamma waited in Haridwar
until she found out
she was pregnant.
There was an epidemic of
Tuberculosis in that area
and she didn't want to
get infected for my sake.
And so, she returned home.
Did she go to Devaprayag?
How could she in that state?
She returned home.
What about Dada?
Kannamma heard about a doctor
working high up
in the mountains,
trying to save a whole village
affected by the disease.
She believed it was him.
She believed he would
come back to her
once it was all over.
But he didn't.
Perhaps, he would
not have left her
had he known she was pregnant.
I know what it is to
grow up without a father.
What made you come back?
Every night, for
the past few months
I've been having this dream.
In it, I am swimming,
trying to reach my father.
He's standing in the water,
singing to me.
But before I can
reach him, I drown.
I wake up breathless.
It's impossible to
sleep after that.
Do we have to be cast in stone
to keep smiling like that?
We were so small!
Your grandparents?
I feel strange looking
at this picture now.
It's only now I
know their story.
Amma kept it from
me all these years.
I think she shared
it to help me.
It's a deep pain.
She didn't want you
to carry it as well.
I know.
But I wonder how many
other secrets she keeps!
There's something
I haven't told you.
I was afraid to dance
with you the other day.
I freeze.
Sometimes, it's as if my feet
get nailed to the ground.
What do you do?
It gets worse if I struggle.
So, I try to do nothing.
And yet you danced with me.
You are brave!
I just felt safe with you.
It's a strange coincidence.
What is?
You are returning
after 12 years.
That was Lava's age
when he meets Rama
for the very first time.
A father he'd never seen before.
But you know Jon.
Do I?
He must have changed too.
Sometimes I wonder about
Parvathi Akka and my father.
What do you mean?
I wonder if she's the
reason he decided to stay.
She cannot be the only reason.
My father is like
a brother to him.
And Parvathi Akka?
Go, yay!
So what did you guys
learn today in class?
We learned the nine sentiments.
Yes, please.
Thank you.
Thank you.
A little more?
A little more?
No, no, no.
We don't eat noodles by hand.
Come, I'll show you.
Take the fork in your right hand
and the spoon in your left.
You take some on your fork.
Yeah, and then you
roll it around.
It is like dancing
with the noodle.
Yeah, and then you
can eat them so nice
without getting dirty fingers.
I'll make some more.
I think it's not
going to be enough.
This is not funny!
You are setting a bad example!
Jon, stop it!
They need to learn
how to eat properly.
Come on Clara,
it's not such a big deal.
It is for me!
Clara has become very strict.
She's being so hard on Dad.
Jon is silly sometimes.
He likes to make us laugh.
It's hard to see them fight.
It makes me sad.
I am here for you, Kris.
Honey, do we have any biscuits?
Why are they coming
after so long?
They want to meet their grandson
before they get too old.
Why are you so stressed?
Just be yourself.
You are a grown woman.
They'll just have
to learn to respect
the choices you've made.
They still have to get
over my choice of you.
Please be nice to them.
It's not going to
be easy for them
to see what you
put us all through.
Hey, that's not fair!
When have I forced
you into anything?
I just want to
get away from here.
You're always around Parvathi.
I wonder sometimes if it's only
about music between you both!
You never want to go anywhere!
Keep it down.
You don't get it.
Do you?
No, I don't.
Did you think about what I said?
My answer is no.
Why not?
Because he's my son.
He's my son too.
I don't want to put
him through this.
Let Kris stay with Parvathi if
we are going to be fighting.
I am his mother, not Parvathi!
Just stop fighting with me!
Nothing I say is right.
What happened to us?
I can't talk to you either.
Do you love me?
Switch off the light.
I need to sleep.
Hey, Valli.
Your bed is not comfortable?
The water is warm.
I must have dozed off.
You were a tree before.
Now you are a fish.
Come along now,
everybody is waiting.
Give me my clothes, Valli!
Come and get them.
If you insist.
Come a little closer,
Valli, please.
You must be feeling like
the Gopikas that Krishna
stole the clothes from.
So you want to see me naked?
Did you find Skanda?
Yes, Amma.
He was sleeping in the mud pond.
Mud pond?
He was naked.
You saw him naked?
No, Amma.
His clothes were by the pond.
Was Appa ever
jealous of you and Jon?
There were moments.
What do you want to know?
What are you writing?
My diary.
Could I look?
Oh, okay.
I thought you
would be sleeping by now.
Parvathi, I didn't see you.
I couldn't sleep.
Why not?
I keep hearing this melody and
I can't figure out what it is.
It's killing me.
Hum it.
That is Hemavati.
It is one of my favorite Ragas.
Jon, stand here.
Remove your shirt.
Let your hair down.
You are just as
naked when you sing.
What do you mean?
Your voice has
a quality of wild abandon,
passionate, without decorum
and all consuming,
claiming for itself, all
who chance to listen.
I have never received
a better compliment.
Clara, stop!
Why are you doing this to us?
To us?
There is no us!
Us is over!
Kris needs me too.
Yes, he does, so come with us.
You know I can't just leave.
I have commitments here.
We have programs.
I'm their singer.
You decide, what's
more important to you.
Your son, or your
stupid commitments!
This music is my life.
How do you expect me
to leave all this?
All this?
Or Parvathi?
She's my friend and teacher.
You are blinded
by your jealousy.
I'm leaving.
You make your choice now.
I'm doing this for Kris.
He needs to go to school!
You're using Kris to punish me.
You don't love him.
You just love yourself.
So, why don't you come along
and prove that you love
Kris more than yourself!
I can't leave.
Just leave Kris and
go wherever you want.
I'll take care of him.
Like hell you will!
She owns you.
Don't you see that?
He will be running
around getting dirty
while you are waiting for her.
I want a different future,
for Kris, for myself!
I'm begging you.
Don't do this.
It's too late.
This is Rudraksha,
tear drop of Shiva.
It will protect you.
Wear it always, Skanda.
Why did Shiva cry?
Because his son was
going away from him,
far away!
Come, Parvathi.
We cannot make it
more difficult for him
than it already is.
Dad, will you come visit me?
Yes, Kris.
Yes, I promise.
I love you.
I won't let you go, Kris.
Your father sings with his soul.
I don't always
understand the words.
But it never matters.
He listens to me singing.
Then he sings his own
song, using his own words.
What's it like
to dance to his music?
It's a part of our life.
So, when he disappears,
like right now,
there is a void.
There's something of him
in every song I've
ever danced to.
Did you take to
school in America?
In the beginning
it was really bad.
Everyone made fun of me.
I didn't understand
anything of their,
their rules.
I didn't speak to anyone.
I found it hard to breathe.
I didn't understand
why all of a sudden
none of you were there for me.
That's what hurt the most.
I told myself that
I was to blame.
That Dad didn't love me anymore.
That you and Parvathi Akka,
you didn't care.
We were not able to reach you.
We tried for a long time!
All the letters
that Jon wrote to you,
to your grandparents
address were returned.
Where were you?
We never stayed in a place
for more than two years.
That explains it.
I thought you
knew where we were!
Go change, Kris.
Go on.
It is Jon who
showed me this place.
It's so peaceful.
We used to come here
for our walk together.
Did he think of me?
Where did you go
when you left here?
To live with my
grandparents in San Jose.
That was for the
first two years.
After that, Mom got
a job in New York.
That was for a year, then,
London, and after that, Perth.
I would love to see
those places too.
Some day!
But I missed Kaavadi.
I missed all of you.
How did you stay in
touch with Bharatanatyam?
I was 18.
We had just moved to Perth.
There was a Kalakshetra teacher
staying in our neighborhood.
One day, I just really
wanted to dance.
So I joined her classes
and I never stopped
going after that.
Did it happen during practice?
It happened in class too.
That's terrible.
No, it was a good thing.
My teacher saw me standing
there like that, you know,
all of a sudden,
rooted to the ground.
We talked.
I told her of my life in Kaavadi
and everything that
had happened since.
She helped me understand
that I needed to reconnect
with my father to dance again.
She really helped me see that.
You'll be okay, Kris.
You'll see.
There was no one to protect Sita
in the forest.
Sita is the daughter
of Mother Earth.
She doesn't need protection.
It is Rama who became vulnerable
when he sent her away.
It's so true what you say!
Without Sita, life loses
its charm for Rama.
She accompanies
him into the forest
only to watch over him.
Ravana lost everything
when he offended her.
Has Rama no role now?
If you ask me, the epic
should be named Sitayana.
I agree.
You are beginning to worry me.
The public will not like this.
The story has to start
with Sita pregnant,
all alone in the forest.
Why would she be alone?
I see the forest
deities worshiping her.
That is so true!
Is that Sita?
It's my mother.
She was pregnant with you.
We were celebrating.
That painting in my room,
it's of my Dad.
Isn't it?
Yes, Skanda.
You've painted him
like a guardian deity.
That is how I see him.
Kris, there's somewhere
I'd like to take you.
Come on.
Your daughter
has a mind of her own.
Sita should hate Rama, right?
For what he did to her.
But she doesn't.
How's that even possible?
Because she understands him.
That what he had to
do, is what he did.
Even though it is terrible
beyond imagination,
it is love that
made her understand.
Do you think my parents
understood each other?
The question is if
they loved each other.
I don't know.
What is love,
without understanding?
You see that name?
Skanda Ashram.
We missed you, Skanda.
May I ask you something?
What is it?
Were you ever jealous
of Amma and Jon?
But, only until I
saw the painting.
The one that's hanging
inside Jon's room?
Then, I understood.
I couldn't be jealous anymore.
Jon is back!
We've always been together, Kris
Nothing could separate us.
Not all this time.
Not all this distance.
Every time I sang,
I sang only for you.
And every time I danced,
I danced only for you, Dad.
Will you come
with us to Devaprayag?
The Himalayas?
We'll fulfill your
grandmother's vow.
You see,
Jon is a success even when
he crashes a performance!