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Review Marathi

Arabian Nights review: Refreshing, intriguing exploration of the glue that binds us

Release Date: 05 Dec 2020 / 33min


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Sukhpreet Kahlon

The Marathi short fiction film examines the ways in which human beings hold different beliefs and yet, intriguingly, coexist.

The Marathi short fiction film Arabian Nights draws inspiration from Yuval Noah Harari’s book Sapiens, which foregrounds the ways in which human beings have a certain capacity for fiction, which makes them believe in things that do not exist.

The film draws from this idea, making us question what makes something true. Is it just belief or is it the fact of its existence? And what makes us come together as people despite our disparate views and beliefs?

Mihir is an aspiring writer who has forsaken the regimented life of modern society for a more creative one. He lives in a home where all members of his family have strong and varied beliefs. His wife is environmentally conscious and has managed to forgo the use of the refrigerator entirely. She doesn’t use the lift either, is careful about water consumption, and even tries to persuade her husband to stop using the fan!

Mihir’s father believes in the supremacy of ancient Hindu traditions and ideas of nationalism. Mihir’s mother, meanwhile, is a god-fearing, devout woman who assiduously offers prayers and follows all the religious rituals.

Despite their vast differences in thinking and ideologies, they all live together, having learnt to accommodate one another’s perspectives. However, when Mihir and his wife realize that their son Kabir has an imaginary friend, it becomes a source of concern and the parents try to figure out what to do.

Meanwhile, Mihir is intrigued about a flat earth conference and attends it to try and find some interesting material for his book. However, what he discovers is something else altogether and it makes him reflect on his own family.

Directed by Sanat Ganu, the short film is refreshing both in its subject matter and its exploration. Its title alludes to the interwoven mesh of stories that form the fabric of our lives. The commendable performances by Pushkaraj Chirputkar, Rucha Apte, Renuka Daftardar, Vinayak Lele and Satchit Ranade ground the story in everyday life.

The film ambles along in places but remains a clever and intriguing exploration of our lives and our dependence on one another. The film can be viewed on cinemapreneur.com.

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