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Detour review: Charming snippet on finding solace in unexpected places

Release Date: 11 Dec 2018 / 11min

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Sukhpreet Kahlon

Starring Vikrant Massey and Sayani Gupta, the short film conveys the hope that is rekindled as two strangers share a few moments together.

As people across the world grapple with the unnatural state of affairs masquerading as normalcy in the current pandemic, the situation has led many to reflect on what it means to be alone. The enforced solitude, whether in quarantine or otherwise, has made us reassess the need for human contact, however fleeting.

Starring Vikrant Massey and Sayani Gupta, the short film Detour ponders over the solitariness of being in the city leading monotonous, stressful lives, running from work to home and home to work, often with none to share in one’s troubles and sorrows. The film portrays the comfort that one finds sometimes in talking to an absolute stranger.

Nimisha (Gupta) has had a string of crappy days at the office and is exhausted, dejected and quite incensed as she gets in an UberPool cab on leaving office late at night. Her travel companion is Aarav (Massey). The two get talking and find that despite the differences in their worlds, they have a few things in common.

In the course of the conversation, Nimisha shares her frustration with her job and the mounting strain that she is facing. To add to the stress is the fact that she measures her life by other people’s yardsticks of what constitute happiness or contentment, thus being doomed to always play ‘catch up’.

“Are you happy?” she asks Aarav as the city and its lights pass them by and she reveals the anxiety that her life may not add up to a hill of beans.

Aarav has a slightly different take on life and as they sit and talk in the dead of the night, a camaraderie is formed where the two find themselves baring their thoughts to each other. The film is also a comment on the way we are so busy looking for happiness as a tick box of activities that one reads about in magazines, the big, grand moments, that little things and moments of joy pass us by.

A simple, earnest film, Detour works because of the performances of Massey and Gupta and the easy, understated chemistry between them. Written and directed by Sumi Mathai, it conveys the hope that is rekindled as two strangers share a few moments together — free of judgement, expectations or any baggage — becoming the big gulp of air that would sustain them a bit longer as they are submerged in the monotony of everyday living. It affirms that we are all in this together.

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