Vikalp | Short Film Nominee

Short Film Nominee August 8, 2020


By Parashar Trivedi with 6.8

drama · Short Films · hindi

The title will tell you that the film most likely revolves around mental health awareness. However, barring the jaded first scene, the film makes quite interesting, subtle reflections on how pervasive the impacts of anxiety can be. For instance, the very first dialogue talks about racing heartbeats. Kabir, the protagonist immediately clarifies to the viewer that these heartbeats are not an outcome of fear but brought out by a rare bout of excitement. This is an extremely detailed insight. Someone dealing with anxiety will profess how accurate this sensation is. Anxiety keeps one’s body hostage in a flight or fight mode so often that when a moment of positive excitement comes, it feels impossible to distinguish.

It is difficult to say with authority how consciously and thoughtfully the filmmaker created this reference, but what’s promising is that he sticks with it. The paralysing effects of everyday anxiety that push one towards pursuing extreme perfectionism, which deprives you of even the simplest of moment of peace or relaxation are emphasised continually through subtle references. Kabir is listening to rock music, but thinking of EMIs, his friend congratulates him on getting the job but he is still reeling with self-doubt.

When the news of the lockdown is announced, Kabir’s friend, immediately calls him to check up on him and asks him to “not panic.” One again, to survivors of anxiety, this is a resounding reference.

The writing is crisp, and on-point, and so is the acting. Impressive.
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