A mentally fragile woman becomes consumed by her desire for a special statue of the goddess Lakshmi in “Corrode,” a visually striking psychological drama about obsession sometimes reminiscent of Roman Polanksi’s “Repulsion.” Filming in black-and-white widescreen, Indian multihypenate Karan Gour imbues his debut feature with a feeling of inexorable doom through surreal dream sequences and unsettling sound design. Four years in the making, this low-budget, non-commercial indie pic reps a quality find for fests dedicated to experimental work, and could entice programmers of horror and fantasy.
Petite, artistic Chhaya (Rasika Dugal, exceptional) and her construction-worker husband, Arvind (Alekh Sangal), are part of the cash-strapped lower-middle-class, living in a cramped Bombay apartment. Times are hard: Arvind’s opportunistic boss pleads poor and refuses to pay wages due, and Chhaya is still melancholy over a recent miscarriage. Her attraction to the near life-size unpainted sculpture is linked to a flying rock that draws blood from her cheek; later, that tiny cut morphs into strange body-horror images. When Arvind departs on an extended business trip, Chhaya’s obsession spirals out of control. Evocative tech work and effects belie the pic’s microbudget.