Ship of Theseus – My Inference

Though I watched this movie last week and I wanted to write about it, I was bit skeptical. I wondered whether I got the full essence of the movie. So I decided to watch the movie again. This time with different set of people. Out of four friends who decided to go to movie only one watched the movie from the start.


Ship of Theseus is a famous paradox as we all know. If a ship was modified and all its planks are removed and replaced by new and strong timber, will the ship remain the same. Or if the removed planks are used to create a new ship which one will be called the original? This is the central theme of all three stories in the film.

Since most of the websites and blogs would have given you the plot, I am not going inside that. But there are lot of things which are likable in the movie. Especially the camera work. It is hard to believe that the entire movie was shot in a Canon 5D. May be that is the reason the photographer was given a 550D :P.

There is a lot of things to ponder about the dialogues. I believe Anand Gandhi would have written a bounded script for the movie. All the protagonists are talkative. Be it the blind photographer Aaliya or the monk Mytreya, the simply love to talk and be argumentative. Either the film maker should have lot of people around him who disagreed with everything he thought and spoke or he must have been terribly lonely talking to himself.

The beauty of the filmmaker comes out in lot of scenes. Like the start of the second story when the monk saves a centipede from getting crushed by people in court and the dialogues after that between Mytreya and Charvaka (tongue in cheek representation of Director) forms the climax of the story. And that makes us think the monk’s decision at the end is actually logical.



And then there is this scene when Mytreya does not want to take the medicines and the other person is Ok with taking medicines tested on animals. The practical approach is shown in this scene where Mytreya is shown looking at oblivion and the other person is shown looking at the buildings denoting their worldly desires.

The third film is most hard hitting of all. The dialogues between Navin and his grand mother will leave you pondering what is compassion all about and can’t one be just happy with what he is doing and be a part of society as well. The performances were ultra casual as if watching them in candid camera than in a movie. Be it Naveen, his friend or the “un-legal” Sercheria, everybody fit to their role to Tee.

The director is very fond of long shots. One of his previous short film of 18 minutes had only one shot. May be he is still in that hangover. There is a scene when the blind photographer Aaliya gets eyes after cornea replacement. The shot starts with somebody walking with a mirror for 30 seconds, passes the hands of boyfriend who is recording everything and then comes to the face of Aaliya. The final frame of this scene will have all the people who mattered to Aaliya, like doctor, her father, boyfriend and herself. Similarly there is another scene where Charvaka and Mytreya walk in busy Mumbai road discussing each other’s philosophies. Be warned the beauty of the shot will be taken away by the beauty of the dialogues when you are watching the film.

The movie ends with the visuals shot in the cave who donated the organs to these people. This is kind of similar to Plato’s Allegory of Cave. You can read more about it in the link. The protagonists had their own convictions about how to live and believed with all their heart that it was right, but since the transplant or because of the need of transplant they are forced or encouraged to look beyond that idea of living and they find it fascinating as well.

There are few dialogues which explicitly tells what the director wants to say in the movie and there are lot of subtle shots which convey what is running in his mind too. That is what makes this movie interesting. Upcoming movie directors may take this movie as a challenge and try composing background score for the movie as it has no music. I also felt Anand Gandhi could have used Tarantino style of managing the chapters because we are so into the movie and the story and do not realize the other one had already started.

Overall, a very nice movie about which you can discuss with your friends and family after watching the movie and get different interpretations every time. But at the end of the day the feeling you will get after discussing is the warm feeling of compassion.


  1. mahesh

    Well-written Prasanna – the windmill shot – you chose not to delve deep into it? Thoroughly enjoyable 🙂 intellectually stimulating movie 🙂

  2. mahesh

    Where does the path lead? Who was the actual donor? Why is the donor’s face not shown at all? Why does Maitreya ask for his mother? What did the windmills signify and the two monks who walked a different way – what did the director try to convey?

    Will try to examine these as well as the significance of the cave at the end 🙂

    Well-written Prasanna 🙂

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