Mumbai, 18 Feb 2021 20:10 IST
Updated: 21 Feb 2021 0:01 IST
The disturbing but intriguing short, directed by Prasad Kadam, revolves around a twisted friendship.
A story that is set in a single room and features two characters can be hard to pull off cinematically, but Prasad Kadam’s thrilling tale maintains its focus on the strained relationship between friends and roommates Seerat (Anupriya Goenka) and Katrina (Adah Sharma).
Seerat returns home to her reclusive roommate Katrina aka Kats with news of the death by suicide of a young woman in a neighbouring building. Though Kats barely leaves the villa, she is clued in to the shocking happenstance in the neighbourhood.
As the curious Seerat probes her further about how she knows this, Kats is evasive and changes her story often, causing the former to worry. The roommates have a tricky relationship — Seerat is supportive and it is evident that Kats is battling personal demons, but it is taking a toll on Seerat’s well-being as well.
Goenka as the outgoing and collected professional and Sharma as the more fragile Kats share an easygoing equation, but things take a dark turn each time Kats resorts to lying. Sharma plays up the duality of her character well.
Written by Mehak Mirza Prabhu, the title aptly describes the cat-and-mouse game the two friends play as they try and investigate what the other is up to. However, it does feel slightly strange to see yet another film use mental illness as a catalyst for drama. Living in a time when mental anxiety and related issues are at their peak, this does feel a bit exploitative, but it works in the context of this story.
Kadam’s restriction of the action to a single set-piece and refusal to shift focus from the core tension between the roommates are wise decisions. It allows the tension to build before erupting in a shocking and disturbing ending.
Chuha Billi puts its own dramatic spin on the old saying, 'keep your friends close and your enemies closer'.
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