Vampire Owl: It has been long enough since you reviewed a short-film.
Vampire Bat: I would say that the frequency of movie reviews at Movies of the Soul has decreased overall, and it is not just with the shorter versions.
Vampire Owl: I have found you to be too far away from cinema these days than ever.
Vampire Bat: Yes, I have been busy. There has been other work in between.
Vampire Owl: But I am glad that we are back to watching movies as it used to be.
Vampire Bat: This is just a small break, and you can’t expect me to review movies as much as I used to be.
Vampire Owl: I am sure that this short-film has proven to be an inspiration to bring you back to the movie reviewing world, and there will be more to get you back.
Vampire Bat: It is somewhat true. But even then, that would depend on the availability of time.
Vampire Owl: Still, you remember that we have found more in short-films than the rest.
Vampire Bat: With Bengali short-films, I am sure that I can find more.
[Gets some banana chips and three cups of Munnar tea].
What is the movie about? :: It is the time of Durga Puja at Kolkata, as the City of Joy prepares for the festival. It is on one of those days that Sudipto (Praveen Srivastava) couldn’t help noticing a beautiful girl on the other side of the road where he awaits his friend to arrive on his motor-bike to provide him a ride to his office. He keeps finding the girl at the same place at the same time, and she is revealed to be Mira (Amita Bharat). As days pass, he feels that he has fallen in love with her at the first sight itself, and soon, he feels the need to gets closer to her, and desperately wishes to express his feelings for her. His friend, Bunny (Dhruv Jha) is a mutual friend to them both, who has feelings for her too, but decides to sacrifice his own feelings for Sudipto. Soon, he decides that it is time for him to propose, but then, there is a twist that awaits him.
The defence of Adhura :: Based on the Micro Story, One Rainy Day by Reetwika Banerjee, the movie is nicely brought together as an interesting short-film. With a good cast and a lovely song in between, the movie nicely brings the romantic side to full strength. It has that kind of a romantic side which some movie can only bring with a full-length. We remember that the movies like Ennu Ninte Moideen and Annayum Rasoolum took about three hours to show that there is romance out there, especially in the eyes of the male lead. This short-film takes only a few moments to do the same. We can see that the male lead, Praveen Srivastava has done an excellent job in that case – the feelings, from innocent love to heartbreak that tends to follow. The rest of the cast, Amita Bharat, Dhruv Jha and Ajoy Chakraborty, all feel so natural, something for which many bigger short-films struggle with the cast.
Soul exploration 1: The irony of love at first sight :: The story has the strength inside to keep the romance going, and nicely takes it to that final twist. It is the love at first sight, that takes on through that beautiful song, and into those final moments of agony. It is more of less the futility of what is often reflected in the feelings of infatuation that can be seen here. As love develops for beauty without knowing a person, the result, as it is always possible, could be disaster. There is the feeling of romance, but it is only half-baked, as we go deep about what has caused one to fall in love. We see the same with the protagonist, who is innocent in his dreams, but fate has that special to be more cruel that one can guess. It assures that there is no such thing as love at first sight which can stay, and there is no strength in such romance that is built on weak pillars of infatuation.
Soul exploration 2: There is no seeing behind the masks of others :: People are rarely those whom we think that they are, and most of them have a twist in waiting for us. We think that things are straight forward as it seems, but they are not. You see people with many faces, like personalities in Split, or a terrible secret to hide like in Pet. The mask that a smile brings is stronger than any other. There are not many people who are not wearing masks, and it is the tendency that comes out of innocence to believe that the masks are real faces. True love has it difficult during these days, and it is sad to say that even friendship has to struggle to find the right one. Sometimes, we are just not that good to see through people, and love is just one of those things that take the sight away from us – for, people always say that love is blind, and some others learn how bad the blindness is.
How it finishes :: Adhura might feel a little long for a few, but its shots make sure that they have our attention. Simple and yet immediately catching our attention, this one has all that it takes to keep things strong throughout its run-time in its story. You feel that you have watched what could be the perfect, cute, love story, but then you know that you have been slowly moving towards a twist which was destined to turn things upside down. This surely has the firepower to go full movie, with necessary elements added – maybe something in the lines of Premam with different stages of realization of the protagonist. With such a good cast, maybe it could go ahead of a number of other movies which have dealt with a similar theme as a full movie.
[Walks into the balcony with another cup of tea].
Vampire Owl: So, I see that this is your first review of a Bengali movie of any kind.
Vampire Bat: Yes, and the fourth one that I have watched.
Vampire Owl: Interesting. I remember that you also started reviewing movies in foreign languages this year.
Vampire Bat: Yes, this has been an interesting year. Just like the last year, so many things happened around here.
Vampire Owl: Who would have thought that Take Off would be our favourite movie of the year?
Vampire Bat: A lot of things including this review were not on our list. I am sure that there is more to come this year with more than two months left.
Vampire Owl: I can already say that you are going to review more Bengali movies.
Vampire Bat: That would depend on the permission given by time.
Vampire Owl: Time is a fraud. He would never stop for us.
Vampire Bat: Unless, we go so fast that it would make us feel that he has almost stopped.
[Walks into the silence of darkness].
Watch the movie Adhura here:
Release date: 24th September 2017
Running time: 19 minutes
Directed by: Abhijit Sinha
Starring: Amita Bharat, Praveen Srivastava, Ajoy Chakraborty, Dhruv Jha
@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.