The story unfolds the events happening in just four hours of a day in two cities – Kochi and Chennai. Balu (Aju Varghese) who goes to Chennai to attend an interview falls into a trap in the few minutes he goes out of the call centre office to make a phone call. He contacts his friend Kishore (Indrajith), an ad filmmaker and his friend, to help him with some money. Kishore, who is in Kochi, has an equally crucial day. His wife Surya (Mamta Mohandas) is returning to his life as the couple has been living separate for some time. Kishore sets aside his plans to reconcile with his wife to help his friend. However, he fails to gather enough money to help Balu. How money changes the life of these characters forms the rest of the story.
We could be in paradise: Shankaran discovers a rare butterfly, the Papilio Buddha, which is only found in the Western Ghats in India. It is a near perfect moment for him and his gay friend, Jack. The American lepidopterist accompanies Shankaran home where he witnesses an argument between Shankaran and his father which he fails to understand – and not just because they are speaking Malayalam. His father is the leader of a group of Dalits, or low caste ‘untouchables’ who are engaged in a brutal struggle for land rights in many places in India. Although their rights have been enshrined in the constitution since independence, the police regard Dalits as terrorists. Shankaran is put behind bars and Jack is soon expelled from the country on account of his association with him. Shankaran’s dream of escaping to the USA ‘on butterfly wings’ would appear to be at an end. However, he refuses to surrender to the preordained life fate appears to have assigned him as a Dalit. Strikingly photographed, this film ignores political taboos to describe how a Dalit community struggles against suffocating tradition. Paradise becomes a war zone. And this stirring film takes a fearless stance. [Synopsis courtesy of Berlinale]