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Colour Palette Of A Soldier review: Colours and metaphors are more potent than words in this film on war

Release Date: 2020

Cinestaan Rating

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Roushni Sarkar

Director Souradeep Datta’s experimental short film depicts the futility of war and the choices a soldier is forced to make in the battlefield.

Souradeep Datta’s experimental short film Colour Palette Of A Soldier plays with colours and metaphorical visuals to describe the futility of war and the life a soldier is forced to live in a war zone. It manages to convey volumes in its short span and invites its audience to engage with it sensitively.

While it is easy to decipher the significance of the grey tones used when a wounded soldier can be seen struggling to survive, one may need to delve deeper to understand the use of the psychedelic reds and blues.

The demolished structures in grey accompanied by a background score of gunshots easily establishes the ambience of a war zone. In sharp contrast, the psychedelic colours seem to symbolize the life of pleasure and freedom that a soldier is deprived of. The director seems to have particularly chosen the psychedelic tones to suggest the suppressed nature of human desires. Hence, the image of a soldier struggling to find water is juxtaposed with that of a bee sipping honey from a brightly coloured flower.

But the visual of a solitary ant dragging away the carcass of a larger ant in the war zone has manifold interpretations. While the act of dragging away the dead ant itself presents a horrific picture of a senseless war that claims lives, the small ant could also be seen to represent a battle-weary soldier who perhaps never wanted to kill anyone in the first place but is forced to do so.

The film ends with the visual of a fish swimming in a small bowl in bright blue colours, hinting at the possibility of life. Perhaps the director did not want to end the film on a note of despair and so chose the visual of a fish which can survive even in a small bowl. The idea of going on with a sense of hope and optimism is re-established, despite the threat of war and extinction looming over mankind.

The film delivers a compact idea. However, it is meant for a discerning audience which wlll take the trouble to ponder over and decode the symbols used. The film's brevity could prevent it from leaving a strong imprint in the minds of the audience and that would be a pity. For this is a film that needs to be watched a few times for the full import of its imagery to be realized.

Colour Palette Of A Soldier is available for viewing on the online box office MovieSaints. Watch the trailer below:


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