Chaar Cutting is the perfect choice for the YouTube generation -- rich in variety and easy on the attention span, writes Paloma Sharma.
Chaar Cutting, Jamuura's first feature film in association with Celebstall, is an anthology of four short films in various genres.
A PVR Director's Rare release, Chaar Cutting is the perfect choice for the YouTube generation -- rich in variety and easy on the attention span.
Chaar Cutting stands testament to how far indie filmmakers have come in India and, as one of the shorts will prove, how far they still need to go.
1. Manila Running
Directed by Anuj Gulati, Manila Running is everything that a short film should be -- intriguing, funny and well cut.
Jacques, a French man with an embarrassing secret, lands in Manila for reasons known only to him. On his way to the lodge he was supposed to stay at, he is attacked by local goons.
Jacques runs away and ends up finding the lodge on his own. However, once inside, he realises that something fishy is going on. He escapes the lodge but how will he escape Manila?
Prudently shot on hand-held, Manila Running is fuelled by desperate chases and well-timed dark humour.
Gulati's expertise shines through as he lets the story free fall into the audience's lap, only to reel it back in just before it touches ground.
Told largely from the point of view of the protagonist, the intense close up shots convey Jacques' s suffocation, and the catchy background score plays over and over again in a loop, giving the audience a sense of the endless spiral that Jacques seems to be falling in.
The best part of Manila Running is its run time. Wonderfully short and cut into precise, polished scenes, like a sushi chef cuts up a rare fish, Manila Running proves that big things come in small packages.
2. Skin Deep
Written by Lootera and Udaan director Vikramaditya Motwane, and directed by Hardik Mehta, Skin Deep follows a young couple Sanjay (Naveen Kasturia) and Sushma (Aditi Vasudev), who are unable to make love due to a precarious little patch of excessive foreskin.
The lovers plan to elope on the morning that Sushma is to be married to a boy of her family's choice. In order to consummate their love on their wedding night, Sanjay decides to have surgery.
The surgery is supposed to be quick and painless. But while he is on the table, a power grid failure occurs and the incision that the surgeon has made cannot be closed soon enough.
Sanjay loses blood and goes into a coma. He wakes up six months later, only to realise that the world has moved on.
Skin Deep features some big names in its cast and crew but, as has been proven time and again, that is no guarantee of cinematic excellence.
The film grips one in the beginning, showing aspects of the male psyche and its feelings towards the body it inhabits that most of us would not even have thought of.
However, Skin Deep cannot seem to decide its theme. It shifts from a story about a man, his girlfriend, and his penis, to a tragic love story, to a story about the ever-changing nature of life.
Mehta is unable to guide the story in a linear direction and brings it to an end abruptly and prematurely.
The lead pair, last seen together in Sulemani Keeda, has great chemistry. But an undecided script in the hands of an undecided director lets them down.
If this multi award winning stunner had to be summed up in one word, it would be this: Why?
I say stunner because Bawdi will stun you into asking yourself why such amateur work was chosen for a serious anthology.
As a student film, Bawdi does well. The story of an innocent young couple separated by the evils of poverty and politics, set in the arid deserts of Rajasthan, ought to touch your heart.
And it would. If you could manage to stay awake through the ordeal.
You know your film is in trouble when the audience appreciates the sound design more than anything else.
Bawdi features some beautiful, soul-touching Rajasthani folk and the rest of the film seems like it was constructed around this just to give the music legitimacy to exist in a movie theatre.
Bawdi exists in a parallel universe, possible one accessible through a magical wardrobe, where time moves at half the speed that it does in the real world.
It’s a three-line story that got extended to a 15-minute film for reasons best known to its makers. If they ever started making shorter versions of daily soaps, they would be something like this film -- lengthy and pointless.
An extremely predictable script that treats characters as separate from logic, it makes no effort to explain the motivations of the people whose lives it wishes to portray.
Bawdi is a film that should be watched with a blindfold. Soundtrack aside, it has very little to offer.
An extremely funny take on a simple man's complex problem, Vijayeta Kumar's Blouse is the stuff of a Hindi moviegoer's dreams.
Shyam (Sumit Vyas), a newly-married school teacher in rural North India, promises to bring back his wife Rupa (Preeti Sharma) a blouse stitched by the famous Babu Tailor (Imran Rasheed), for her first karwa chauth.
However, Shyam forgets the bag with the cloth for the blouse at home. Without it, he knows he's in big trouble.
Shyam's desperation to give his beloved wife what she wants moves Babu Tailor, who then comes up with a plan.
Babu advises the morally upright school Masterji to find a woman with measurements similar to those of his wife so that Babu can stitch the blouse.
Thus begins Shyam's search to find a woman with a similar body type without seeming like a creep.
Never have four people been better cast in a film. The actors do complete justice to their roles and, in turn, the script and the director do equal justice to them.
Subtle, hard-hitting humour plays out several underlying themes of the film. Kumar touches upon our collective dilemma as a society: whether the sexual aspect of human nature is normal or disgusting. And does so with rare sensitivity.
Colourfully composed sets, innovatively utilised props and well thought out camera angles coupled with a dance worthy soundtrack make sure that the technical aspect of the film is iron clad.
Blouse captures the spirit of small town India and makes heroes out of ordinary people, further endearing itself to viewers.
Chaar Cutting could have had this one film playing over and over again instead of playing the three others, and I would have still stuck to my seat and watched, because Blouse is worth it.
Over-all Rediff Rating: