Starring: Huma Qureshi, Richa Chadda, Nawazuddin Siddique and Vineet Singh, Arjun Shrivastava, Aditi Khanna, Ratnabali Bhattacharjee
Directors: Shlok Sharma, Siddharth Gupta, Anirban Roy, Rohit Pandey and Neeraj Ghaywan
A collection of arty short films when released for the mainstream audience is a very progressive idea. A progressive idea however, may not necessarily translate into a profitable film. 'SHORTS' produced under the Anurag Kashyap banner will definitely grab more eyeballs than its other festival philandering counterparts. Even though such films claim to be more 'real' than their glamourous cousins, there is a reason why arbid close-ups and jarring editing attract only a select few viewers. But at 83 minutes with five short stories and a few known faces, 'SHORTS' is a damn good attempt to make this genre more acceptable.
What's it about?
A collection of five short films- 'Sujata', 'The Epilogue', 'Audacity', 'Mehfooz/Safe' and 'Shor' go on to form 'SHORTS'. While 'Sujata' talks about a girl's struggle with physical abuse from the hands of her cousin; 'The Epilogue' throws light on a man's volatile relationship with his hysterical and temperamental lover. 'Audacity' is a subtle show of fearlessness by a teenage daughter against her father. 'Mehfooz' is a touching story that goes on to discover lost love in the most unusual place. 'Shor' is about rediscovering yourself and your priorities in that single moment of desperation and suffering.
We loved the first story 'Sujata' that stars Huma Qureshi. Not only is the story crisp and exactly conveys what the filmmaker intends to but is enhanced by Huma Qureshi's brilliant performance. The story of a simple girl troubled by her brother can get tricky to pull off but director Shlok Sharma gives a cracker of a start to 'SHORTS'. On the other hand, we couldn’t come to terms with the Siddharth Gupta directed 'The Epilogue'. Starring Richa Chadda and Arjun Shrivastava, the documentary style camera movements looked unnecessary and distanced us from the plot by miles.
Anirban Roy's 'Audacity' was spot-on. The Bengali set-up and simple plot gets two thumbs up from us. The story of a girl who teaches her father to take her seriously in the simplest of manner is rather amusing and was one of our favourites from the lot. Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Aditi Khanna starrer 'Mehfooz' was another touching tale. The story of a man who burns dead bodies was surprisingly sweet. Nawazuddin, needless to say, looked and performed the part with extreme ease, making the proceedings look more believable. The last film 'Shor' was another beautifully shot one. Vineet Singh of 'Bombay Talkies' fame plays an unemployed husband who sits at home while his wife goes to work. While Vineet's desperation during the last sequence of the film when he is stuck between railway tracks looks authentic; Ratnabali Bhattacharjee who plays his wife Meena is extraordinary.
What to do?
It might not be your idea of a weekend spent at the cinema, but 'SHORTS' has some good stories for those on a break from commercial chaos.
in.com rating- 3/5
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