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Have you watched these short films?

By JOGINDER TUTEJA
Last updated on: April 26, 2020 13:22 IST
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There's a lot on offer on the OTT platform.

With theatres shut down during the lockdown, the small screen is a big source of entertainment.

ZEE5 has launched a short film festival with nine film-makers presenting short films.

Joginder Tuteja tells you what's on offer:

 

 

Season's Greetings
Cast: Celina Jaitly, Lillette Dubey, Azhar Khan
Director: Ram Kamal Mukherjee

With a running time of close to 45 minutes, Season's Greetings is like an episode of a Web series.

Directed by journalist-turned-author-turned-film-maker Ram Kamal Mukherjee, this emotional tale marks Celina Jaitly'S comeback eight years after her last screen appearance in Will You Marry Me?

A tribute to Rituparno Ghosh, Season's Greetings makes a statement on LGBT relationships and how sometimes it is all about an emotional connect, not a physical one.

Told from Celina's point of view, she reflects on her mother (Lillette Dubey)'s life, with her boyfriend Azhar Khan being all ears.

The conversational mode of narrative holds your attention.

However, Lillette's intermittent solo act turns out to be theatrical and though one looks forward to an explosion of sorts, with skeletons coming out of the cupboard when the trio come together, it doesn't turns out to be the case.

The storytelling isn't as pacy and vibrant as one would have expected.

Rediff Rating:

 

 

Boom Boom
Cast: Rhea Chakraborty, Manjot Singh
Director: Sonam Nair
 

Boom Boom is good fun and quite sweet too.

As a newlywed couple gets ready for their first night, Rhea Chakraborty and Manjot Singh are fighting their own battles.

Tied in an arranged marriage, Manjot tries to be macho even as he plays some Western music to 'build up the mood' on a 'bed of roses' (well, literally).

On the other hand, Rhea, all coy, is hiding something.

Who 'breaks the news first' is what this is about.

Director Sonam Nair (Gippy) sets the stage quite well in a bedroom.

Manjot is a delight to watch as always, while Rhea, looking beautiful, brings out her comic side well.

If only the core of the film was a bit subtle, Boom Boom would have worked even better.

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Svah: So be it!
Cast: Shriya Pilgaonkar, Rajit Kapur, Shilpa Tulaskar
Director: Gauri Daswani

This one started off really well, only to end up as something that one did not see coming.

The stage is being set for a love affair to culminate into marriage, and the family of the girl (Shriya Pilgaonkar) invites the would-be samadhi family (led by Rajit Kapur) home for fish and beer.

Just when the families start getting comfortable, out of the blue, a secret is revealed.

Where did it come from?

And what is the big deal?

Couldn't it have been handled better between the boy and the girl?

Even though there are a lot of questions, all that one remembers most is Shriya Pilgaonkar's act.

Rediff Rating:

 

 

How About a Kiss?
Cast: Rajat Kapoor, Ritabhari Chakraborty
Director: Satarupa Sanyal
 

A beautiful, mature, tale told with the right kind of sensitivity and assurance, Satarupa Sanyal narrates the story of a college girl (Ritabhari Chakraborty) and her professor (Rajat Kapoor).

In the world of Money Heist, this could well have drawn parallels with Professor and Tokyo, with an undercurrent of chemistry between the duo.

Made in English, this one starts off on an offbeat note, but the moment the duo takes a trip to the beach, the dynamics change.

This is where How About a Kiss? could have gone either way, but to the team's credit, it doesn't stray at all.

The last shot of a champagne bottle nicely placed in the professor's house is remarkable, and it pretty much rounds up the relationship.

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Heartbeat
Cast: Rajeev Khandelwal, Anupriya Goenka
Director: Manu Chobe

Is one's heartbeat ruled by another person's heart?

That's the kind of dilemma explored in Heartbeat where Rajeev Khandelwal, a pilot, is lying in a comatose state for three years and his wife Anupriya Goenka refuses to pull the plug.

Even after 17 false alarms that give a semblance of a heartbeat turning into something meaningful, brain-dead Rajeev appears to be speaking to his wife in a sub-conscious manner and wondering if she would want to wait like this an entire lifetime.

A subject like this could have become rather morose and depressing, but credit to Manu Chobe's narration and Rajeev Khandelwal's spirited act that Heartbeat turns out to be breezy.

The one thing that could have been done better was to have repetitiveness taken care of at the scripting stage.

Some points are hammered again and again due to which the impact is lessened.

But the big reveal made by Rajeev about Anupriya's mental state does get your attention. A good watch.

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Half Full
Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Vikrant Massey
Director: Karan Rawal

One of the best stories of the lot, Half Full is a thriller which makes its point in each and every frame.

'Kal Kissne Dekha' could well have been an alternate title for this Karan Rawal film that catches your attention.

Vikrant Massey (what a fantastic actor he is!) reluctantly entertains an unwelcome guest (Naseeruddin Shah, superb as ever), who drives a Mercedes (which actually breaks down in the rain) and then goes on to treat him with a bowl of gajar ka halwa.

A conversation between the duo ensues where Naseer asks Vikrant a simple question: 'Do you know what will happen in the IPL this year?'

The story takes an exciting route as it reaches its deserving finale.

A must watch for those who believe that life tomorrow will just be the same as life today.

Rediff Rating:

 

 

Second Hand
Cast: Parul Gulati, Lakshya Kocchar, Abhishek Banerjee
Director: Navjot Gulati

This one is so much fun when it begins, but puzzling when it ends.

Lakshya Kocchar, a mobile salesman into his second marriage, brings his English speaking wife (Parul Gulati) home, much to the amusement of his best friend (Abhishek Banerjee), who instantly becomes the devar to his bhabhi.

The moment you are introduced to Abhishek, you know that this devar-bhabhi relationship will take a naughty route.=

When the plot begins to unfold, you are not really surprised.

The English vocabulary thing is quite overdone, especially towards the end, but then there is a bigger worry for the viewer here as the culmination is bizarre.

Second Hand could have been more fun as each of the actors do quite well.

Rediff Rating:

 

 

Strawberry Shake
Director: Shoneel Yallattikar
Cast: Sumit Raghavan, Hruta Durgule

Made in Marathi, Strawberry Shake tells a father-daughter tale in an upmarket set-up.

One fine day, Sumit Raghavan wants to be best friends with his daughter played by Hruta Durgule.

Amused at the beginning, she wonders what her father is up to.

Nonetheless, she gives it a nod of approval and lo and behold, she invites her boyfriend over for 'bedroom activity' no less.

Things do not stop here as 'strawberry flavour' comes into the picture, something that ends up flabbergasting the man of the house.

Just when one wonders that Strawberry Shake could have been served shaken and cold at this point in time, director Shoneel Yallattikar takes this conversation to a restaurant instead where, no prizes for guessing, a Strawberry Shake is served.

Rediff Rating:

 

 

Food for Thought
Cast: Rashi Mal, Abaan Deohans, Alka Amin
Director: Tania Deohans

Easily the best story of the lot, Food for Thought is rich from the very first frame.

Rich production values, rich talent, rich concept, rich execution and rich messaging, Food for Thought brings to fore the reality of some of the rooted thought process that even those in cosmopolitan cities still possess.

Rashi Mal, a young woman in her 20s, is a doctor who is exposed to two different ideologies while being in the company of her mother (Abaan Deohans) and would-be mother-in-law (Alka Amin).

How the tables turn, could well be the best way to define the manner in which the narrative unfolds.

A comedy of error ensues in the most serious of situations and what could well have been a lecturebaazi tale is told with a smile right through, something which leads to full-on giggle right at the last frame.

With women leading the pack in this short story, Tania Deohans makes sure that once the curtains are down, her film indeed gives a viewer 'food for thought'.

Rediff Rating:

 

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