Cast: Manjot Singh, Aisha Ahmed, Neena Gupta, Divya Dutta, Sanjay Kapoor, Jiten Gulati, Deepak Dobriyal, Isha Talwar, Swaroop Samant, Nidhi Singh.
Films & Directors: Chajju Ke Dahi Bhalle (Gautam Govind), Pinni (Tahira Kashyap), Sleeping Partner (Punarvasu Naik), Thappad (Vinay Chawwal), Nano So Phobia (Rakesh Sain), Sunny Side Upar (Vijayeta Kumar).
Zindagi inShort Review: About:
With Oscar-winning Producer Guneet Monga backing the ship, Zindagi Inshort is an anthology comprising of 7 short stories that touch various topics including sexual abuse, domestic violence, cross-border romance, eve-teasing, infidelity and some more. With names like Tahira Kashyap, Neena Gupta, Sriram Raghavan and Divya Dutta associated with it, the anthology is a roller coaster of emotions and will leave you satisfied. This is a platter with versatile elements, that is worth our time.
ZINDAGI INSHORT REVIEW:
Let’s begin with the concept. Hindi cinema is adapting to the anthology format and it is a liberating fact for the audience and an amazing platform for the filmmakers who wish to tell their story in a limited time frame.
Chajju Ke Dahi Bhalle:
The first short from the anthology is Chajju Ke Dahi Bhalle starring Manjot and Aisha. The short shows how finding someone on social media and announcing them your partner even without a meeting is normal these days. The film shows a girl and a guy meeting on tinder and coming close through the dating platform. The day they decide to meet is the part of the story that has left a mark on me for life. What opens up like a normal romance drama ends on a note which will make you skip a beat and it is love. The only things that bothered are the fast face in the starting minutes where the girl installs tinder the very moment her mom gifts one.
Welcoming the debut director Tahira Kashyap is her short Pinni starring Neena Gupta in the lead. For the first, Tahira seems to be a director who tries to tell a lot metaphorically in each of her frames. The story revolves around a homemaker who has been restlessly doing the job for years without anyone appreciating the fact. She adds a metaphor, Pinni (a sweet dish famous in the North of India). Everyone only calls her to get pinnis made and no one actually wants to talk to her or even ask if she is doing okay. She has to one day herself ask for it. But Tahira as a director is in full control of her script, while Neena’s character is suffering from loneliness, the script does not portray her as a zen human. Rather she is also shown discriminating between the family and house help. While family gets tea in porcelain cups with pinnis, house help is given a steel glass for tea and no pinni. Smart!
Punarvasu Naik with Divya, Sanjay and Jiten has given the most hard-hitting short of all. Touching gruesome issue of domestic violence and marital rape, the story stars Divya and Sankay in a loveless and abusive marriage. While the women in the house have been oppressed for years, a predator (Jiten) who is also her husband’s friend to whom he introduced her as his ‘Sleeping partner’ lures her into a facade of love and exploits her. When he comes out in open and it hurts the husband’s toxic masculinity he does what he knows best. This is when we see the flood gates open and Divya standing for herself. The film is an appropriate portrayal of the entangled dynamics and puts us up as the judge to who is correct or worst. This short is the need of the hour and there was no other way to deal with it. Punarvasu, take a bow. Divya Dutta’s acting needs no more validations.
Sunny Side Upar:
Bringing Malayalam actress Rima Kallingal to the Hindi diaspora, Sunny Side Upar is a story of finding hope in whatever is around you. Director Vijayeta Kumar tries to put this point more clear by setting the plot in a cancer hospital. While the messaging is nice and also the acting talent, the underline conclusion felt rushed and it got lost in all the other 6 nicely sketched stories.
Nano So Phobia:
The opening credits thanked Sriram Raghavan and I instantly knew I was up for a ride. Starring the amazing Swaroop Samant, the film is about a lady who is robbed by her dwarf house help on blade point and the phobia of dwarfs stuck in her head forever. Directed by Rakesh Sain, the man has a Raghavan thrilling touch and I am excited to see what he does next. The plot will bring you to the edge of the seat and if not that, the end will make you uncomfortable, that smile in the end OMG! Watch it.
Directed by Vinay Chawwal, Thappad talks about eve-teasing and self-defence. We meet a 10-year-old Babloo who loves comics. One fine day a group of boys in the mid-teens threaten him to fix his sister with one of them. How he rescues her and teaches her to stand for herself is the story. More than anything Thappad is cinematic brilliance. Here the idea is to get into the head of this comic-loving kid who is up to rescue his world enacting the various characters he has read about. So DOP Piyush Puty only focuses his camera on him and his sister occasionally. He uses his short height to do that. Remember how in Tom and Jerry, Tom’s owner aunt was never shown chest up? Here the team uses the same technique. Like Tom and Jerry, the only faces to be seen here are Babloo and his sister. I still can’t wrap my head around that someone would use the animated technique in a real film. I would not want to talk about the feel much, experience it yourself.
Funniest and rather dark in humour out of all. Swaaha stars Deepak and Isha as a married couple. During a wedding function, Deepak gets to know that Isha is cheating on him. The whole time he is trying to make her confess and well she does. But the end….. The strength of Swaaha lies in the acting calibre. Deepak and Isha get into their characters and play them as themselves. What might come across as a problem for some is that the film in between gets so comic, that the main conflict is somewhere overshadowed. So when the climax comes, it happens to be more of a joke than a shock.
Zindagi Inshort Review: The Last Words:
Zindagi inShorts is a concept that needs to be promoted. Watch it to see how a story can be told in a limited timeframe without compromising on anything. Watch it to see how varies pallet of stories we have and endorse. Also, 7 stories in just 2.5 hours are stolen. If I am even 50 per cent successful in convincing you, give it a chance!
Zindagi inShort Review: Star Rating: 4 Stars.