The Man Who Feels No Pain (Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota)
Director: Vasan Bala
Section: Opening Film
Country: India | Year: 2018
Language(s): Hindi | Time: 134 mins
Surya is born with a strange condition under tragic circumstances. He is diagnosed with a rare medical disorder called Congenital Insensitivity to Pain and is tended to by the odd-couple combination of his father and his mischievous grandfather Ajoba. School life is difficult for a boy who doesn’t get hurt and is picked on by bullies and, yet, Surya finds an unlikely ally in his neighbor, Supri. At home, Surya learns to tend to his own wounds and binges on a whole host of martial-arts films on VHS tapes thanks to his grandfather’s unique tutelage. The one tape that mesmerizes young Surya is a 100- man karate kumite fought by a mysterious one-legged man called Karate Mani. His first foray into vigilantism leads to the family being evicted from the building they lived in and Surya and Supri are estranged as children. They go their separate ways, each one finding purpose and mentorship in unusual circumstances. As an adult, Surya begins his adventures at the very building where he and Supri had been separated years ago. This time there is a Supri he can’t quite recognize, a one-legged old drunkard Mani, who is a ghost of his former self, and an evil twin brother Jimmy who refuses to return a locket that means the world to Mani. Finally, Surya knows what his quest is: he must bring back his mentor’s locket because it has more meaning for him than the world will care to understand. And so, the stage is set for one last epic duel.
Vasan Bala, an Indian screenwriter and filmmaker. His debut film Peddlers (2012) was screened at the 51st Semaine de la Critique and also played at TIFF' 12. He has worked as a screenwriter on Anurag Kashyap's Bombay Velvet and Raman Raghav 2.0. He is also an award-winning advertising filmmaker and Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota (The Man Who Feels No Pain) is his second feature film.