A unique partnership between India’s leading production house, AKFPL, Tumbhi and India’s largest multiplex chain, PVR Cinemas, Shorts is produced by Anurag Kashyap and Guneet Monga, who are forerunners in this changing scenario in Indian film industry. This is in a way introducing accolade winning Short Films in a feature format to the Indian theatres bringing together critically acclaimed actors such as Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Huma Qureshi, Richa Chadda, Vineet Singh, Shweta Tripathi among others. The 5 films include Sujata, Epilogue, Audacity, Mehfuz and Shor.
SUJATA by Shlok Sharma has Huma Qureshi, Shweta Tripathi, Satya Anand & Aditya Kumar in pivotal roles. Sujata is a riveting tale of a young girl, who is struggling to come out of the clutches of her tormenting cousin brother. At a very young age, she is forced to live with her cousin and his family. Herein, begins a life of incessant harassment by her cousin brother. Even as an adult she lives in the shadow of fear. For years, she changes addresses and identities in the hope of finding freedom; but each time he hunts her down. Neither the police, nor the NGOs are able to help her. Pushed to a corner, she decides to take the extreme step.
EPILOGUE by Siddharth Gupt has the talented Richa Chaddha pitted against Arjun Shrivastav. It’s a story of a relationship that has already fallen apart and is just about to snap. It describes the love and intimacy, the entangling of two lives and the completely symbiotic nature of a couple. It also reflects the possessiveness, the control isolation, depression and desperation that a relationship can lead to, representing a cycle that needs to be broken in order to keep sane.
AUDACITY by Anirban Roy has Preeti Singh, Sankar Debnath and Kanchan Mullick. A thirteen-year-old girl has her first real confrontation with authority when her father forbids her to play the American dance music she loves. When she decides to take revenge, the situation escalates to become a neighbourhood scandal. A dark comedy about parental authority, teenage rebellion, curry, whiskey, and house music.
MEHFUZ by Rohit Pandey has Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Aditi Khanna in an ambiguous space and time. The city has turned mad, as violence has taken its toll. But, far away in the sounds of silence at the border of the town, a man takes care of all the death around. He drags away this usual routine with every passing night. One night, he notices a strange woman wandering on empty streets. As her behavior changes, so does his journey.
SHOR by Neeraj Ghaywan has Vineet Singh and Ratnabali Bhattacharjee as Lallan and Meena, a couple from Banaras, who are consumed by their pursuit to survive in the city of Mumbai. Meena takes up a job in a sewing factory. One day over a phone call, they find each other while embracing death, divorce and redemption. It takes the darkest hour of our life, the fear of death, to regain our consciousness back in to life. To find the beauty that is lost in our relentless angst towards an unyielding life.
Though the format has been seen quite often in recent times, what needs to be seen is how the audience will be accepting it. Maybe after Bombay Talkies, this might also have a few takers given a talented and known starcast including Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Huma Qureshi and Richa Chadda. But without known faces will the shorts be able to pull in the audience is one big question. And not all experiments are really gonna work just because they come from the Anurag Kashyap stable. Had that been the case, his “The Last Act” wouldn’t have had done the vanishing act. Only time will tell in this case too.