It has been a while since I have reviewed a short film. We at Popcorn Reviewss always make it a point to provide a platform to young filmmakers. Because we know the struggle that we are going through to keep the lights on everyday. So with that I finished watching the new Hindi short Shameless which is streaming on Amazon Mini TV. To be honest, I was keenly awaiting its release since 2020 ever since I got to know that it has been Oscar Nominated. That is the thing with short stories, it travels across the globe if it is good. But then the question is, is Shameless that good, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
As it is with short films and keeping up with the tradition of avoiding any spoilers, I will not be revealing any bit of the plot. But the story is powerful and reflective of today’s times. We live in times where there is an inherent class divide. What that translates to is that most of us do not give basic respect to the “lesser” person and often talk rudely to them for literally no fault of theirs. And that is the crux of this fast paced thriller which stands at just 15 minutes. The best part about the screenplay is that it wastes no time and moves at a break neck pace. You are quickly introduced to the two protagonists as they cross paths till all hell breaks loose. There is this tenderness and heartfelt backstory which is communicated through dialogues. Yet, the narrative isn’t one-sided. You are given a glimpse of the other side which will keep your loyalties conflicted. To be honest, I was on the fence with the way the story ended because I felt it was abrupt and kind of incomplete. But taking nothing away from the journey which it traversed. The screenplay here does make an immense impact.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are conversational but they manage to engage you and hold your attention throughout. The BGM is sparingly used and silence adds to the atmospherics of the drama. Here I must applaud the cinematography too. If you look at it closely, when the camera pans on the character of Bharti, the camera shakes almost displaying the foggy mind of the character. This is as opposed to Praveen who holds a stable frame despite being tied up(probably knowing somewhere that everything would end up well). This was an expert way of showing things. Director Keith Gomes must be complimented as his direction is top notch. He maintains a firm grip on the drama and manages to hold your attention.
The performances are stunning here and it was expected as you have two very capable actors to do a lot of the heavy lifting. Hussain Dalal as Praveen is outstanding. His character isn’t exactly affable but Hussain puts enough of stuff to ensure that he is not hated either. And Sayani Gupta as Bharti absolutely owns the arena. If an actor makes an impact in barely 15 minutes then you know this is a masterclass. She takes you on a range of different emotions conveyed through some brilliant expressions where she hits the ball out of the park. Simple exceptional!
Shameless is powerful, eccentric yet brilliant. Available on Amazon Mini TV and Highly Recommended.