By Balkaran Singh
Films with domestic violence in them have always been a difficult watch. This one, though, is not only about it, but has its whole premise built around the issue – that, alcoholism and its emotional consequences for the child in such a household.
Simple. Yet if we think this short is formulaic, it is not.
The writers (Harminder Phull, Sachin Mahashi and Imran Ansari) have done well in making the script tackle the issue from a creative angle. It evokes our curiosity, when it follows the young son, Aman (Jahaan Chechi), as he witnesses the routine episodes of drunken violence by his father, Sunny (Sachin Mahashi), against his young mother, Chandni (Mindy Shokar). But Aman is not merely staying up in bed to listen in on the sounds of trauma making their way from the room down the hall. And it is not until the end of the film we realize that there was a purpose to his wake.
As the director, Harminder Phull does a good job driving the script forward through implied visuals and background narration by someone (Sid Sawant) who is intended to be a mystery, till right before the end. Phull makes the story and its emotion very clear with his images, and conducts his cast without dramatic overkill. The three lead actors, also, perform quite competently in conveying the mood of the script.
As before, with Baggage (2013), Phull and Mahashi have again undertaken tackling a very important but veiled issue that persists within the South Asian community, and outside of it. And after the movie ends the makers tell us why its message is so important: “There were just under 88,000 victims of family violence in Canada in 2013… 7 out of 10 family violence victims were female…”
Besides consulting in the cultural, creative and communication spheres, Balkaran engages in social-justice and political drives. And writes. Among other things.