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Short film The Black Cat starring Tom Alter premieres on Children’s Day

The short, released on YouTube, has been adapted from a short story written by Ruskin Bond. 

Sonal Pandya

The Black Cat, a short film written and directed by Bhargav Saikia, has made its online debut today on the occasion of Children’s Day. Starring Tom Alter and Shernaz Patel, the 20-minute short also has a feline star, the titular black cat. 

The Black Cat is also being screened at the 20th International Children’s Film Festival India in Hyderabad.

The fantasy short is dedicated to the memory of Alter, who plays the prolific writer Ruskin Bond, who resides in Mussoorie. The actor died on 29 September 2017 after a battle with skin cancer.

In The Black Cat, Mr Bond visits an old antiquities shop, owned by Mr Jaffer (Uday Chandra), and buys a broomstick for Rs15. He sees a friendly stray cat who frequents the store and proclaims, “I’ve never cared much for cats.”

Soon enough, a long-haired black cat with yellow eyes meows piteously outside his house and once he opens the front door, the cat makes himself at home. 

The cat is everywhere, wrecking havoc as Mr Bond tries to go about his daily activities, including sleeping at night and writing his next book.

The eccentric Miss Bellows (Shernaz Patel) makes her appearance, stating that the black cat, in fact, belongs to her. While he hunts for the cat, Miss Bellows spots the broomstick. And thus, the short leads to big reveal of Miss Bellows’s true identity.

The charming but old-fashioned short film has an impressive production value. The production design and VFX are top-notch. However, the only thing missing is a necessary spark which was absent from the very start of the film. 

Watch the short film here: