By Guest Blogger: Anubhav Proothi
Just this morning I read that Katrina Kaif is to be honoured with Smita Patil memorial award, and I quote TOI, “for her contribution to Bollywood.” The decision, you may like to know, was unanimous. The related video right below this news piece was titled “Katrina’s hot sultry photoshoot.”
After the initial reaction passed and the irony settled in, I figured this wasn’t surprising in the least. In fact, silly me, this is quite expected. In a country where everything, including our top choice for ‘Swadesi’ FMCG company, lies in the folds of populism, is it so strange that our biggest mass entertainer, Bollywood, should also be affected by the phenomenon? If anything, Bollywood is the primary perpetrator, and for our benefit. It is killing it at popular entertainment, just as its job description dictates.
But how do you satiate that guilty appetite for serious, albeit less popular, cinema? How do you kill that voice inside your head that has declared itself a critic, a connoisseur of quality films? Is that all just a pipe dream? Umm, duh, of course not! Otherwise, what would be the point of this post? Flickstree stands for movie discovery, and that’s what this post will do; except the movies in this one are, on an average, 20 minutes long.
You guessed it. Short films!
When I gave in to this new-found addiction of short films, I found some of the most amazing work in Indian film-making happening there, right on the periphery of our vision. And, by god, a lot of work! With smaller budgets and little ROI pressures, short films have become the testing ground for writers, directors and actors, where creativity flows free around some incredibly knit plot lines. And for someone with a tweet-sized attention span, which is most of our generation, this 20-something minute duration fits perfectly in our schedules. To think, this one fateful day a few months back, I could have watched 6 brilliant short films; instead I watched Shandar.
So once you’ve exhausted all Anurag Kashyap’s and Dibakar Banerjee’s, do not turn to Hollywood for your next great watch. Stay ‘swadesi’. Turn to YouTube. To get this ball rolling for you, we present to you a list of hand-picked short films that you absolutely must watch. And since these are short and I am on a constant spoiler risk, I’ll try not to reveal too much; just the genre and a couple of lines of description.
Interior Cafe Night by Adhiraj Bose
Starring Naseeruddin Shah and Naveen Kasturia of Pitchers fame, Interior Café tells a sweet, powerful story of a second chance at love with just a couple of conversations in a café in Kolkata. With four stunning performances and clever storytelling, this award-winning short film recites an oft-told story that, unless one is a robot made of tin, will touch a chord.
Bypass by Amit Kumar
Bypass is what happens when crime meets crime meets crime. Starring Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, both of whom have been known to immortalize lines with their impeccable dialogue delivery, this short has almost no dialogues. Silently, the film delivers most number of twists you can imagine in 15 minutes.
Mama’s Boys by Akshat Verma
Genre: Comedy, Satire
There is no better way to send a meaningful social message than by juxtaposing it with absurdity. In a modern day take on a one of Mahabharat’s most illogical moments, Arjun tries to convince his mother Kunti (played by Nina Gupta) why it’s absolutely weird to share a wife amongst 5 brothers. Having failed, he goes about convincing his brothers, the rest of the Pandavas, each of whom is a hilariously typified character. Draupadi (Aditi Rao Hydari), however, has a different plan.
Note: If you’re a hardline Hindu, you may want to avoid this and continue with your buffalo steak. Oh wait, did I accidentally just pique your interest?
Gutthi by Abhishek Chatterjee
A crime fiction writer going through a writer’s block starts to look outside of his life to find an inspiration for his next story. Turns out he only has to go as far as his doorstep, where he finds out that the building’s garbage boy has some peculiar habits. Convinced that he will have a story to tell, he invites him over for a tête-à-tête.
With a slowly-advancing, multi-layered plot, you will need a few minutes at the end of the story to comprehend exactly what happened. When you do, you may want to kiss the story writer’s hand.
Tubelight Ka Chand by Shlok Sharma
Genre: Yeah, so I can’t really tell
It’s not a happy story, it’s not a sad story. This is just the story of a boy who falls in love with the moon, and shakes up all of Kolkata. Enough said.
About Flickstree: Flickstree is your guide to awesome movies. We are an online movie recommendation cum aggregator platform and we help users discover movies as per their taste and preference across varied genres and languages.