Rating : Above Average (3.5/5)
Genre : Drama
Year : 2013
Running time : 1 hour 35 minutes
Director : Neeraj Ghayawan, Siddharth Gipt, Rohit Pandey, Anirban Roy, Shlok Sharma
Cast : Huma Qureishi, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vineet Singh, Pretti Singh, Aditi Khanna, Shweta Tripathi
Kidwise : R
I hadn’t even heard of this film until the weekly movie review poll came along at the Bollywood Subreddit. I’m guessing this was one of the films that got ignored under the “arty” tag. Anyway Shorts, as the name indicates is a compilation of 5 short films, and in that sense reminds me of Bombay Talkies.
The first story “Sujata” is based on blogger and author Annie Zaidi’s short story (the script can be read here). Huma Qureshi plays the lead character beautifully. I thought the film was very well done, and it left an impact; I felt for Sujata.
The second story “Epilogue” portrays the relationship between a young man and his wife/fiancee/girlfriend/significant other/personal demons – I couldn’t quite tell which it was. Richa Chadda stars as the “wife”. This short was on the bizarre side with sudden spurts of action and randomness – probably to portray the nature of the rlationship. Interesting but not quite there.
“Audacity” is the third story, told in Bengali (with subtitles) about a man, his wife and daughter (Shweta Tripathi). Superficially this is about the difference in thinking between a parent and child, but it also hints at the father’s double standards. An unexpected twist at the end rounds out this short. Nicely done!
Nawazuddin Siddiqui stars in the 4th short “Mehfooz” as a poor man who burns corpses. He eyes a pretty woman at the neighboring pan shop, not realizing that he’ll come face to face with her later. Conceptually this was an interesting film, but I didn’t quite feel the emotional impact.
The last and best short is “Shor”. This stars Vineet Singh (you might remember him from the short story “Murabba”) as a lazy, patriarchal slum-dweller who berates his hard-working wife (Preeti Singh). The wife finally decides that she’s had enough of him. The acting and direction was great – the characters and settings came through all beautifully nuanced. I enjoyed this very much.
All in all, this was a good watch. Recommended. This film is available to watch from Spuul.