Short Films On YouTube Pretending To Be Arty Feature Film
Three stories, tenuously tied in a presentation that is so amateurish, you wonder why NFDC would back this film school type story-telling. Thankfully, one story stands alone and puts a smile on your face. This should have been released on YouTube.
Vinay Pathak is a cog in a gigantic wheel called office. Everyone works to be organised and obey rules. Management committee also insists that employees have fun (compulsory) and the chosen ones are made to go to a mall to win rides on a carousel, take home pink teddy bears and other pointless things. He finds and assembles a gun and shoots everyone in the office. This is done in such a tedious manner, you wish a couple of those bullets would break that fourth wall and kill you while you are watching the movie.
But thankfully we move to part two. Really, NFDC, really? Ghost In The Machine is a very different movie. This awesome second story wins your heart. Amruta Subhash and Uttara Baokar are mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, tied together in grief because the son is in coma. While they wait for the irritable son to recover they buy a TV. Now that isn’t such a bad thing, except that the TV soap they follow is about the perfect man, something Amruta’s husband never was. The progress in real life and in the soap make you beam. Now this is a story Alas, it is wrapped by another pretentious story.
The third story takes place in a slummy part of Bombay, where Tannishtha Chatterjee plays Aarti, a daughter who works at a printing press and is engaged to be married to a rough, rude chap (Chandan Roy Sanyal) who offers a lift back from work every day. She does not smile because life has given her no reason to. She receives a love note by mail and her world suddenly becomes brighter as she responds to the post box number. She even tells off the rude chap that she loves another and runs away from home. Only to discover the letters were written by the Artificial Intelligence program. The address? The office, of course! She goes back to her drab life and you emerge from the theater wondering why they make movies like this. Apparently such pretentious stuff works at film festivals.
One good idea clubbed together with two really bad ones no matter how tenuously connected to an office does not good cinema make. It’s shot well, but at the story level it falls woefully short. This feels like a film school projects clubbed together, and had it not received backing from NFDC, these films (except the second one) would have been on YouTube and died unviewed.
(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)