Ek Achchi Naukri
Time and again, we at Popcorn Reviewss have strived to provide a voice to some of the independent filmmakers or some short films which require your attention. And so after the Hindi film The Tale Of A Santa And His Moth which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, we decided to feature another film, this time a short film under our segment Popcorn Spotlight(a segment exclusively created for reviewing content in film festivals). And the film that we are going to be reviewing is the Hindi short film ‘Ek Achchi Naukri’. The film has been an Award Winner at the World Film Carnival Singapore and a winner for Best Short film at the International Kolkata Short Film Festival. It has already been selected across 30 Film Festivals across the globe. The film is slated to be played at the prestigious Mumbai International Film Festival(MIFF) this Friday(3rd June 2022) and we got a screener before that.
Please note that THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED REVIEW. There was no compulsion/pressure from the makers or the cast to provide a positive feedback. This is an honest review based on how I interpreted the film and whether Ek Achchi Naukri would be worth your time or not once it makes its way to an OTT platform. So here are my two cents on the film.
Story & Screenplay
As is my template for a short film, I will not be revealing any bit of the story of Ek Achchi Naukri considering that anything I say will act as a spoiler. But the story is quite unique along with it being light and frothy. The screenplay standing at just 20 minutes means it wastes no time in setting the ball rolling. You are introduced to one of the protagonists early on in the film and you get a glimpse of the mood of the drama. The writer does well in defining the mood of the drama as light and frothy. The vibe of the drama would be relatable to many youngsters too who are on the brink of getting married. Soon you are introduced to the second protagonist and you can almost make out their distinguished personalities which are further explored through the film. The humour which is brought out is subtle which will put a smile on your face.
The genius of the screenplay lies in the fact that this could so easily been a frivolous drama which would be reduced to conversations. But the proceedings are engrossing here despite them being conversational for most parts. The situation which is created is interesting keeping the mood of the drama intact. But the moment you feel that you are well settled in the drama, there is a twist which is rather unexpected and you did not see it coming. If there was this one shortcoming, the time leap part could have been a little more organic and fleshed out. But taking nothing away from it, there is a useful message at the end summing up a well written screenplay.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are conversational but pretty interesting with the way the flow of the drama is maintained. The BGM by Nilotpal Bora(of Aspirants and TVF Tripling Fame) is again subtle and doesn’t overpower the drama. The cinematography is an unsung hero of the film, creating an ambience and giving the film a fresh vibe to it. Some of the frames are beautifully captured. Writer-Director Anuj Bhardwaj does a fabulous job with both the script/dialogues and screenplay in trying to create a different space within the same setup that we are privy to. The issue which he manages to address successfully is sure to broaden your horizon no matter how strange it might seem. It may very well be a modern day issue and it has been tackled with sincerity. Kudos to the producer Meeta Bajaj Bhardwaj for backing such a progressive and experimental script.
The performances are outstanding. Srestha Banerjee as Manya has such an infectious energy to her that she shines even in a limited screentime. Pulkit Makol whom you have previously seen in the SonyLiv series Your Honor is so well restrained as Prashant. He is instantly affable and quite earnest and sincere in his persona. He has a pleasant personality to boast off and he carries off his role with aplomb especially towards the fag end of the film. And this was the film where I discovered a new artist, Roshni Sahota. As Nidhi she looks very pretty and is an absolute firecracker in her performance. She shares some crackling chemistry with her co-stars and nails some of the one-liners which will definitely put a smile on your face. The way she is able to react to certain situations in the film is refreshing in what was a brilliant performance.
Ek Achchi Naukri is a light and breezy drama with a unique twist. The film will premiere at the prestigious Mumbai International Film Festival(MIFF) this Friday(3rd June 2022), so not miss out if you have registered. If you haven’t, do wait for its digital release, it will surely be worth it. Highly Recommended from my end.