To cut it short, this one (co-produced by Anurag Kashyap) is for lovers of pure art-house cinema. ‘Shor’ (Neeraj) and ‘Mehfuz’ (Rohit) stand out in this ensemble. In the first story, Lallan (Vineet) and Meena (Ratnabali), are a couple wallowing in abject poverty in Mumbai. While she tailors clothes for survival, his joblessness turns him into an ignoble, suspicious husband. Ironically, only when the death-knells toll, they rediscover their long-lost feelings. The film is poignant and touching, with excellent performances.
‘Mehfuz’ looms around the alley of death. The main character (Nawazuddin) is a solitary soul dealing only with corpses. His clients inconspicuously send him bodies to burn and bury. Until one night a woman walks in to his life, bringing a sudden tinge of hope in his dark existence. In this starkly shocking role, Nawazuddin is brilliant. This one is worth a watch.
‘Sujata’ (Shlok), is a story of a young girl (Huma) who is harassed (sexually and mentally) by her incorrigible cousin brother (Aditya) since childhood. Every time she escapes his clutches, he hunts her down. Finally, after years of breeding anger and animosity, she’s ready to seek bloody revenge. Huma excels at capturing the pain and agony of her character.
In this Bengali dark comedy, ‘Audacity’ (Anirban), the 13-year- old Lily (Preeti) is a rebel, highly influenced by pop-culture, much to the dislike of her dictatorial dad (Sankar). Her audacity to question his vices (drinking, gambling) leads to a minor social scandal and a family face-off. The Bong setting looks just perfect, but the story fails to create an impact.
Lastly, ‘Epilogue’ (Siddharth), is a dialogue-less film with two characters – One real (Arjun), the other ghost-like, seemingly unreal (Richa). It’s a relationship between an estranged couple, where love and kinky intimacy turn into a cycle of possessive control and insanity, eventually ending in self-destruction. In this ambiguous story, too much is left to interpretation. Too arty for the soul!
Compilation of five short films helmed by five different directors.
The Times of India