The Common Man Speaks

11Dec/180

When BJP leaders were so against EVMs that they wrote books on its ‘dangers’

The state election results in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Chattisgarh have come as a blow to the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party). The party has suffered heavy defeat in the three states much against its run of play with the results in MP too not being in their favour. This has ensured that jokes and memes about the EVMs are being shared online.

The rivals of the BJP, especially the Congress party, has been vocal a number of times about their doubts in the EVM (Electronic Voting Machines) used in India’s elections whenever they have lost to the BJP in last few years. But all their doubts about the ‘dangers’ of EVMs have evaporated after they have won handsomely today in the three of the four states. Not a word against the EVMs now.

While it is hypocritical to change stand on the issue once you win the election, it would be wrong to assume that only BJP’s rivals have been crying the EVM song after defeats in elections. Not many would know that BJP itself was highly against the use of EVMs when they lost the Lok Sabha Elections in 2009.

BJP logo EVMs

In fact, two of its leaders also went about writing books harping the ‘dangers’ of EVMs.

BJP’s spokesperson G V L Narsimha Rao came up with a book against the EVM titled ‘Democracy At Risk! Can We Trust Our Electronic Voting Machines?’ in 2010. In the book he has gone onto explain how one shouldn’t trust the EVMs.

Here are the contents of the book:

An excerpt from the book read, “Holland and Ireland too have abandoned EVMs and have gone back to paper ballots. And developed and technologically advanced countries in our region like Japan and Singapore have so far stuck to paper ballot voting, owing to their simplicity, verifiability and voter confidence in the system. Today, reliability of Electronic Voting Machines and the integrity of electoral verdicts is a subject of intense political debate and media scrutiny across the world.”

Another significant excerpt read, “In our system of representative democracy, elections provide the only occasion when the people directly exercise their sovereign power. Immediately thereafter this power is ceded to the elected representatives. If this sacred power is vitiated by a voting system of dubious integrity open to insidious fraud, it is evident that our democracy is seriously endangered.”

In chapter four, Rao has explained how on numerous occasions the EVMs have malfunctioned and misbehaved. During the launch of the book, Rao gave a statement as strong as, “It is a blatant lie that EVMs are tamper-proof. I think the use of EVMs on a national scale is illegal.”

Veteran BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani aka L K Advani had not only launched the book but also wrote a foreword to it.

 

The PDF copy of the whole book can be found HERE.

 

In the same year, another senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy (who was then the chief of Janata Party), along with author S Kalyanaraman, also came out with another book against the EVMs with a strong title ‘Electronic Voting Machines: Unconstitutional And Tamperable.’ The title gives a clear idea of the contents of the book.

While any online or PDF copy of the book is not available, its description on Amazon reads, “EVMs have already been banned in many countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland and Italy, and the list is getting longer. Thus, there is a growing lack of confidence in EVMs the world over. Why should India persist with a failed system that has been abandoned worldwide? The risk of wholesale rigging inherent in EVMs, howsoever small, cannot be accepted in a democracy where the stakes in winning elections are so high.”

Both books are still available for buying HERE and HERE.

Surprisingly, the two books and BJPs strong stand against EVMs isn’t known much. It can be attributed to weak public memory or the lesser reach of the social media back then or both.

By: Keyur Seta

5Dec/180

Mumbai Pune Mumbai 3 box office: How much will Swapnil-Mukta starrer earn?

The Marathi movie Mumbai Pune Mumbai 3 is expected to earn well at the box office. Directed by Satish Rajwade, this is the third film in the franchise starring Swapnil Joshi and Mukta Barve. It is slated to release on 7 December.

Mumbai Pune Mumbai (2010) became a runaway hit and the jodi of Swapnil and Mukta became one of the most loved in Marathi cinema. Naturally, the second film Mumbai Pune Mumbai 2 (2015) was made.

The film not only clashed with Salman Khan’s biggie Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (2015) on Diwali but also with another multistarrer Marathi film Katyar Kaljat Ghusli (2015). But despite that, it became a hit, along with the other two films as well. It was a rare occasion when three big films became successful at the box office despite each other's presence.

The success of the first two films speaks volumes about the brand Mumbai Pune Mumbai. Needless to say, there is immense excitement for Mumbai Pune Mumbai 3. The film is surely expected to get a big opening at the box office in the first weekend, irrespective of the content.

Mumbai Pune Mumbai 3 poster

If the content receives thumbs up from the audience, nothing will be able to stop the film from being a superhit. God forbid if the content doesn’t live up to the expectations, MPM 3 will still have a fair chance of becoming a hit.

Also read: Did Ani... Dr Kashinath Ghanekar succeed only because Thugs Of Hindostan failed?

It is difficult to predict the exact number Mumbai Pune Mumbai 3 will earn at the box office. But roughly it is expected to make around Rs 15 crore at the box office in the first 10 days provided the film doesn’t receive a thumbs down for its content.

The good thing for the film is that the next big Hindi film Zero will be releasing on 21 December. This means, MPM 3 has two full weeks to take advantage of.

If everything does fall in place for MPM 3, it will be another success for Marathi cinema in this year in a short duration after Ani... Dr Kashinath Ghanekar, Naal and Mulshi Pattern.

2Dec/180

5 reasons why the villain of 2.0 is the hero we need (Spoilers Alert!)

2.0 Akshay Kumar

During the digital poster launch of S Shankar’s 2.0, Rajinikanth had said that Akshay Kumar’s character in the film is way interesting than his. “I am telling you the truth. The hero of 2.0 is not Rajinikanth. Akshay Kumar is the hero. If I would have been given a choice, I would have selected that (Akshay’s) character,” he had said.

“It’s a brilliant character; brilliant role. I am telling you, the whole country will applaud Akshay after the release of this picture,” added Rajinikanth.

Spoilers ahead

At that time I felt that Rajini is just being large-hearted and generous. But after watching the film, I completely agree with him. Rajini has a double role in the film and he lives up to the expectations of his fans. But I can’t stop being in awe of the character Pakshi Rajan that Akshay played.

There have been reports that the character of Pakshi Rajan is inspired from the real birdman of India Salim Ali. Read more about him here.

2.0 Akshay Kumar

Pakshi Rajan is the villain of 2.0. However, he is no lesser than a hero. In fact, he is the hero we need today. Here are five reasons why:

(Note: These are his qualities while he was alive.)

Peace loving: You will hardly see a character as peace loving as Pakshi Rajan. The sight of a bird in pain would melt his heart like a mother. Healing it becomes his biggest motto. This, obviously, means that he is strictly against any form of violence.

Selfless: Pakshi Rajan spent his life for the welfare of birds. He became an ornithologist and professor to spread their knowledge and importance. He also went onto take the pain of writing books about different kind of birds.

Nature before everything: How many of us even think of the problems caused by mobile towers and mobile phone radiations on birds? Pakshi Rajan not only thought of that but refused to use mobile phone just because it harms the nature, including birds.

Pakshi Rajan

Fearless fighter: The character played by Akshay showed the guts of protesting against mobile companies and the government, even if it meant protesting alone. People would consider him mad but he would never give up. In fact, Pakshi Rajan even went to the extent of admonishing the Telecom Minister literally on his face inside his office.

Age-defying: Pakshi Rajan carried out the aforementioned tasks even after being in his 70s or so. Age was just a number for him.

Now, why would I consider him a villain here? Of course, he became evil after his death and went onto kill innocents, including officers from the Indian Army. However, neither these acts nor his menacing post-death VFX avatar are enough to wipe out the memories of his noble character while he was alive.

By: Keyur Seta

2Dec/180

Piano For Sale (Marathi Play) Review

Piano For Sale play

Director Aashish Kulkarni’s Marathi play Piano For Sale features veteran actresses Kishori Shahane Vij and Varsha Usgaonkar. They were two big names and contemporaries in Marathi cinema of the 1990s.

This is the first occasion where Shahane and Usgaonkar have shared the stage together. As the play has no other characters apart from them, there is no need to say that one would get to see their jugalbandi on stage.

But for a play or any piece of performing art for that matter it is the end product that needs to be impressive. The cast comes later. Let’s find out if Piano For Sale manages that.

The play is the Marathi adaptation of playwright Meher Pestonji’s English play of the same name. Sheila (Shahane) stays alone in the middle-class Byculla area of Mumbai. She is a dance teacher for mute and deaf students. She is quite content with her simple lifestyle, although she does experience feelings of loneliness here and there.

Anita (Usgaonkar) is the opposite of Sheila. She is married and has a daughter. They belong to the upper class and she is proud of her status.

Piano For Sale playSheila wants to sell off her old piano, for which she gives an advertisement. Anita gets interested in buying it and calls Sheila. While hanging up the call, Anita reveals her full name. This stuns Sheila since she and Anita have had a past and not a pleasant one at that.

Going by its interesting storyline, it is not surprising to see the reason for adapting the play from another language. Just when you think that the story will continue based on the conflict that was established early on, it takes you by surprise through a twist in the second act (post interval).

The end result turns out to be moving as it compels you to think on the idea of winners and losers in matters of love and life.

Needless to say, when the entire play is only about conversation between two characters, the script needs to be engaging and this is what happens for the majority of the duration. The dialogues and the subtle dark humour are enough to keep you engaged.

It is only on few occasions that the transition from one topic to another isn’t entirely smooth though. Also, the massive transformation of one character later on is a bit questionable.

A lot of thought has gone into the rich set designing. The interiors of both the houses – of Sheila and Anita – are realistic. Coming to the lights, it was a smart idea to dim the brightness whenever the conversation became intense and conflicting. The sounds of piano go well with the subject and the title.

Needless to say, the play demanded both Shahane and Usgaonkar to be on top of their games. The two actresses have complemented each other well and, in doing so, have provided convincing performances.

Overall: Piano For Sale is an interesting and thought-provoking play.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Review by: Keyur Seta

Director and English adaptation: Aashish Kulkarni

Original playwright: Meher Pestonji

Producers: Digital Detoxx

Cast: Kishori Shahane Vij and Varsha Usgaonkar

Varsha Usgaonkar, Kishori Shahane Vij

25Nov/180

Short story: Under the shade in the rainy evening in Bharatpur

The sun had set in Bharatpur that evening but it wasn’t dark at the market road. The workers of the Jan Raksha Party (JRP) were burning effigies of a leader from the ruling Lok Seva Party (LSP) after he allegedly made a derogatory remark against their leader.

The JRP workers were sweating in their pink T-shirt bearing the abbreviation of their party in the already humid town but they didn’t care. How dare he insult their beloved leader?

Their victorious reverie was broken when a group of supporters of LSP started raising slogans against the said JRP leader. They felt their leader did the right thing. They too were oblivious to their sweaty purple T-shirts bearing the abbreviation of their respective parties. But both parties were united in not caring for the general office going population that was having difficulty while going home after a long and tiring day at work.

Such was the state of affairs in Bharatpur these days. The town was divided between LSP and JRP; between pink and purple. Earlier it was only their supporters who were at loggerheads. But slowly, common people too clinged onto any one side and developed enmity against those who were on the ‘other’ side. So what if they have been their close friends or even family members all these years?

The colleges regularly saw tussles and arguments between both set of supporters. But since recent times, even offices saw heated conversations between those who were otherwise well-educated and mature.

The scene was the same even in the virtual world of social media and What’s App. More than the IT cells of these parties, the common people were energetically creating posts to bash and insult the other side. Both parties were saving a lot of money since the common people were ready to publicize them and their agendas for free.

Mumbai Monsoon

When the general public felt such enmity for people from the ‘other’ side, one can just imagine the hatred between the official party workers of both parties. They literally couldn’t see eye to eye.

The mobs of both groups were showing no signs of stopping. Hence, it took some divine intervention in the form of unseasonal December rain. What started as a drizzle soon transformed into heavy rain and storm-like situation. To make matters worse, the electricity went off.

The general public, which was running helter skelter, was now confused. Ajit, a man in his mid-20s, ushered inside the entrance of a shop that was shut. As he was moved inside the roof properly to escape the rain water, his body his someone. It was a man in his 50s who too was there as he had to save himself from the rain and it was too dark to try going home.

After an awkward moment, they spoke and soon introduced themselves. The man in his 50s was Rameshchandra. The two were glad to have each other’s company to combat this difficult situation. Ajit realized that Rameshchandra was feeling uneasy.

When Ajit caringly prodded further, he revealed that he is diabetic and needed water. Ajit promptly handed him a bottle from his bag in the dark. Rameshchandra thanked him. He then he noticed that Ajit was limping a bit. Now it was Rameshchandra’s turn to caringly prod him about his uneasiness.

Ajit explained how his leg got hit to the street lamp pole in the dark while he was hurriedly getting under the roof. Rameshchandra handed him a little bottle of a balm which he always carried for his headache. He said the balm works even for the kind of injury Ajit suffered. Then Ajit remembered the slogan of the balm’s advertisement, ‘Ek balm, teen kaam’ and they had a hearty laugh.

There was massive age gap between the two of them but they didn’t feel it. Difficult circumstances can even bring two people from different age groups together in a human way. Both decided in their minds that they would like to keep in touch. They were no longer thinking about the uneasiness caused by their wet T-shirts.

Just then the electricity returned and the road lights were on. They were glad but as soon as their eyes fell on each other, they were stunned. They were wearing pink and purple T-shirts respectively.

By: Keyur Seta

18Nov/180

Box office: Ani… Dr Kashinath Ghanekar worked only because Thugs Of Hindostan failed?

The Marathi movie Ani… Dr Kashinath Ghanekar has turned out to be a success at the box office. The Subodh Bhave starrer has been attracting the audience right from its release on 8 November. In fact, the shows of the films have increased in the last few days and the producers have claimed that right now it has around 6000 shows in India.

Directed by Abhijeet Shirish Deshpande and also starring Sonali Kulkarni, Sumeet Raghvan and Vaidehi Parshurami, the biopic on the superstar of Marathi theatre Dr Kashinath Ghanekar has been widely accepted by audience and critics alike.

The film was pitted against the biggest Bollywood movie Thugs Of Hindostan, which saw the union of two of the biggest superstars Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan for the first time ever.

The Vijay Krishna Acharya directorial, however, wronged all the box office predictions by turning out to be a flop. It is the most expensive Hindi film till date with a cost as enormous as around Rs300 crore. After 10 days the film has earned only Rs137.25 crore in India.

Ani Dr Kashinath Ghanekar

There have been talks on the social media that Ani… Dr Kashinath Ghanekar has worked at the box office only because Thugs Of Hindostan has failed. How true is it?

In my personal opinion, it is not true whatsoever. When a Marathi film gains wide acceptance, it really doesn’t matter if any other film it released with worked or failed, no matter how big it is.

This can be proven by a simple recent example. During the 2015 Diwali period, Salman Khan and Rajshri Productions joined hands after a long time for Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. On the same day, two big Marathi films Katyar Kaljat Ghusli and Mumbai Pune Mumbai 2 also released.

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo turned out to be a superhit. But despite that, both Marathi films remained unaffected and managed to attain success at the box office.

If the success of one Hindi film didn’t affect two other Marathi films, it is obvious that the success of one Hindi film wouldn’t have affected one Marathi film released on the same day.

By: Keyur Seta

9Nov/181

Ani… Dr Kashinath Ghanekar Review – A biopic in real sense

Biopics have become a new fad in mainstream Hindi cinema over the years. While some turn out to be impressive, some don’t. But the common factor in almost all these films is that the protagonist is glorified and in some cases their dark deeds are whitewashed. This is where director Abhijeet Shirish Deshpande’s Ani… Dr Kashinath Ghanekar differs. The film doesn’t shy away from showing the negative or dark side of the person in question.

The film is based on the life of the superstar of Marathi theatre Dr Kashinath Ghanekar (Subodh Bhave), who ruled the stage from 1960s to 1980s. Although he was a practicing dentist, there came a time when he got more attracted to acting in plays. He started off by being a prompter for other actors.

Ghanekar finally got his big break in the role of Sambhaji in the play Raigadala Jevha Jaag Yete. After some hiccups, he later found success in the role of Lalya in Ashrunchi Jhali Phule. This increased his popularity and he became a star of the masses.

However, his personal life with his wife Irawati (Nandita Dhuri) took a beating. Ghanekar’s arrogance and superiority complex also added to his problems. If this wasn’t enough, the emergence of the very talented bloke Dr Shriram Lagoo (Sumeet Raghvan) threatened his position.

The Marathi film Rangkarmi (2013) was based on a man who becomes a theatre star but arrogance takes the better of him and he ultimately succumbs to alcoholism. But it was a fictional film. Another major difference is that Rangkarmi wasn’t well-made.

Dr Kashinath Ghanekar movie

The subject of Ani… Dr Kashinath Ghanekar relies heavily on production design and this area is taken care of. The scenes of old Bombay, especially the entrance of Shivaji Mandir and the road, appear believable.

But the film’s real triumph was the convincing narration of Ghanekar’s life. This was possible since the writing, direction and acting were in sync. It is impossible for us to know how exactly Ghanekar behaved and how the various events in his life played out. But whatever we were shown appeared realistic and at the same time it went with the massy nature of the film.

The arrival of Ghanekar as Shambhaji and his comeback as Lalya are events that bring in the effect. The craze for the superstar through his famous utterances like ‘Kadaaak’ and ‘Usme Kya Hai?’ are sure to gain popularity.

Ghanekar’s personal life was such that it was impossible to not focus on it. His conflict with his wife, love for Kanchan and closeness to actor Prabhakar Panshikar are woven naturally in the script.

The no-holds-barred attitude of the film is what makes Ani… Dr Kashinath stand out. Iconic living figures like Dr Shriram Lagoo and Sulochana didi having hard feelings for Ghanekar is something we don’t associate our biopics with. But there are chances that the serious rivalry between Ghanekar and Lagoo might not go down well with some.

The one thing that makes the film look incomplete is that Ghanekar’s early life is not explored. It is necessary to know as to why and how he developed such admiration for theatre despite being a practicing dentist.

The subject needed Subodh Bhave to give one of his best performances and this is exactly what he has done. The actor has lived the character of Ghanekar while displaying various emotions with ease. Despite showing arrogance, he doesn’t let him appear negative ever.

He isn’t the only actor with a difficult task. Sumeet Raghvan walks the razor’s edge and doesn’t either overdo or underdo while playing Lagoo. He is terrific. Anand Ingle, (Vasant Kanetkar), Nandita Dhuri, Sonali Kulkarni (Sulochana didi) and Mohan Joshi (Bhalji Pendharkar) too fall in the same league.

Vaidehi Parshurami, the youngest in the cast, doesn’t falter or let the presence of such stalwarts affect her performance. She is surely a lookout for the future.

Overall: Ani… Dr Kashinath Ghanekar is a kind of a biopic you don’t get to see often here. The film is expected to earn big at the box office despite it releasing with a biggie like Thugs Of Hindostan.

Rating: 3.5/5

Review by: Keyur Seta

Director: Abhijeet Shirish Deshpande

Producers: Viacom 18 Motion Pictures

Writers: Abhijeet Shirish Deshpande and Guru Thakur

Cast: Subodh Bhave, Anand Ingle, Sonali Kulkarni, Sumeet Raghvan, Nandita Dhuri, Vaidehi Parshurami, Mohan Joshi

Genre: Biopic

Runtime: 160 minutes

4Nov/180

When a statue is used to massage egos…

The sunrise at Mahishmati is no longer accompanied by the sweet chirping of the birds. Over the last few months, the construction work of our ruler Bhallaladeva’s gold statue is in full swing. The noise of the hammering emerge daily at the stroke of dawn and continue till sunset.

Never before have I ever been devoid of the pleasing early morning sounds in my 45 years of life. But I have to get on with my work. The vicinity of the gurukul where I teach is surrounded by dense green trees. This helps in keeping the sound at bay. But the quality of air is surely affected.

Along with the destruction of nature, what puts a huge question mark on the statue is the fact that an unthinkable amount is spent in making and erecting it. It pains to see such crazy spending on a mere statue when hundreds of its citizens are homeless. On top of that, the farmers and peasants too are going through the worse phase of poverty since last few years.

The rulers are, obviously, aware of this. But they, especially the father-son duo of Bijjaladeva and Bhallaladeva, are more concerned in flaunting their power. Proving their supremacy is their biggest priority even as a number of citizens struggle to survive.

Bhallaladeva statue

Protesting against the statue is out of question. Many tried it and suffered the consequences. Bhallaladeva used his force to crush every protest. He won’t do it directly. People lower in his rank carry out such tasks on his behalf.

Mahishmati has now reached a stage where even constructive criticism of the rulers is considered suicidal. Along with his highly paid workers, a large number of people from the general population have also started advocating for Bhallaladeva with all dedication.

Strong image building exercises coupled with his brilliant oratory skills have captured the minds and hearts of these citizens. For them, Bhallaladeva is the most powerful and the only person worth ruling Mahishmati. Even if you differ with them politely, you get branded the enemy of the land. Their blind worship has broken plenty of friendships over the years.

Their common justification for the statue is that it will provide employment to a lot of people who are engaged in building it. They fail to understand that the enormous amount of money will not only save the lives of hundreds of starving citizens but will also ensure that nobody gets into that condition in the near future.

The other day I got quite a jolt while I was teaching. A scuffle between two groups of kids took place. Further query brought to my notice that few students lost their temper when few other merely questioned the need for a statue. I was more disappointed than surprised. Since recent times I have come to realize that there is no definite link between common sense and education.

I wish building statues, even of great people, doesn’t continue in the future but I see little hope. Who knows? Centuries later some other ruler might play a trick by building a statue of a great ruler of the past just to massage his own ego.

14Oct/180

Why MeToo can be a long term solution for both genders across industries

Me Too

Tanushree Dutta’s sexual misconduct allegations against Nana Patekar last month made headlines for days and continue to do so. But we didn’t expect it to be the starting point of a major MeToo movement across India that would empower women to speak up against sexual harassment or rape they were subjected to by people in power.

It is, obviously, not logical to take sides in the Tanushree and Patekar case because we were not present at the spot where the incident allegedly took place. But we can’t deny that this allegation is solely responsible for starting the #MeToo movement.

Nothing is proved in the Tanushree’s case but there have been a number of instances since more than a week where the culprits have accepted their guilt and apologized. There are a couple of major recent cases where neither the allegations are proven nor the accused have accepted their guilt. But going by the inside information I have received, it is not possible to be neutral against them. However, that’s a different story.

It is astonishing how regularly allegations are coming up these days. In fact, in the last week we were on high alert as multiple allegations were popping up after, literally, every few hours.

The effect of the victims speaking up has been so strong that director Sajid Khan and Patekar had to step down from their ambitious project Housefull 4. It also compelled one of the biggest stars of India, Akshay Kumar, to take a stand and cancel the shoot of the film. In a latest update, Khan has been removed from the film and replaced by Farhad Samji.

MeToo

This is the extent to which the #MeToo has sent shockwaves across the film industry. This means that the predators would now think 10 or more times before committing any such acts. Who knows when their screenshots, pictures or videos would be out and their reputation tarnished.

The victims were able to speak up because of the effect of social media. Going by this and the fact that the victims have finally found the courage to speak up, it is not going to stop them from naming and shaming the perpetrators from here on. Social media also provides an option of exposing someone by being anonymous, as we have seen in recent cases. Hence, if the naming and shaming continues, it might change the scenario drastically.

#MeToo can also be used in incidents like casting couch. Asking sexual favours in return for a role is also sexual exploitation. A friend of mine, who was once a struggling actress in regional cinema, was told by a director on chat, “I can give you the role if you become my girlfriend for some time.” If the victims in such cases start sharing screenshots of such chats, it might well create fear in the minds of those who indulge in casting couch.

God forbid if the moment dies down in the coming weeks, there will always be this danger for the perpetrators of someone exposing their misdeeds any time in the future. After all, social media is here to stay.

The word ‘me’ is gender neutral. So, it can be used by men too who often get harassed or exploited. Also, it is not at all necessary for the movement to be restricted to the film industry alone. Harassment happens across industries and is not just limited to sexual. A boss targeting his subordinate by making him/ her work extra hours or verbally abusing him/ her also comes under harassment.

There is a lot that can come under #MeToo.

However, like many other things in the world, this initiative also has a flipside. One thing that can severely damage the movement is fake accusations; either to take some sort of a revenge or for any other reason. Fake claims can destroy whatever good the movement has done so far.

The last thing we need is political stooges using #MeToo to gain brownie points over their political opponents.

By: Keyur Seta

7Oct/181

Terra (Bengali Short Film) Review

Director Debjani Bandopadhyay’s short film Terra (which translates to ‘Land’) takes place in the mountainous regions of Purulia in West Bengal. It tells the story of an officer (Anindyo Banerjee) who works for a company that is slowly snatching away the land and natural resources of the region for monetary gains. He has a troubled relationship with his wife Bibha (Tanushree Sarkar), who is of the opposite ideology.

The narrative takes its own pace but this works well as it slowly sucks you into this intense world where the greed of few people has made life hell for many others. The peaceful location being the opposite of the conditions of the victims is established creatively. Two parallel tracks about main issue and the personal conflict of Bibha are smartly woven.

Terra short filmTerra tilts towards the victims but it doesn’t preach anything. It just presents the whole scenario as it is. But at the same time it steers clear from being a docu drama.

Despite the writing and direction departments being impressive, the technical department doesn’t cease to impress you throughout. The camerawork (Subal KR), background score and editing (Golam Mustafa Prokash) are applaud worthy.

But it’s the sound designing (Siba Sankar Das) that stands out and how. The minutest sounds of nature appear realistic even when seen on a mobile phone.

The only minus point is an incident which brings some amount of confusion. It, thankfully, doesn’t affect you much.

Acotr Tanushree Sarkar, Surojit Sen, Anindyo Banerjee and child actor Sourav Mura have come up with natural performances that play a large role in adding reality.

Overall: Terra is a finely crafted short film. It won’t be an overstatement that the director is ready to take a plunge in feature films.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Review by: Keyur Seta