Kolkata, 06 May 2020 16:00 IST
This lockdown short by Shieladitya Moulik is somewhat redeemed by the twist at the end.
Shieladitya Moulik’s lockdown short, Ekti Tara attempts to restore humanitarian values amidst the backdrop of a pandemic. Featuring Paayel Sarkar and Shubhro S Das, the film has been shot in isolation by the two actors.
Sarkar here plays a celebrated actress in a setting that represents a dystopian culmination of the pandemic that is ravaging the world currently. The director has avoided showing graphic portrayals of an absolute lockdown in the city. Rather, the ambience has been established by the conversations between Sarkar and Das, who plays her admirer.
Sarkar is one of the two survivors in the city that stands bare like a skeleton. One morning, she gets a call from an admirer, who enquires about her well being after coming across one of her posts on social media. Desperate for human proximity, she asks him to make a video call. On the call, the admirer refuses to remove his facial mask, despite sitting at his own house.
Das’s disillusioned character stands in complete contrast to Sarkar's idealistic character. But the actress also represents human greed and cravings, whose easy fulfillment has spoilt humanity. However, the pandemic reveals two sides to the idea of instant gratification.
In the initial phase of the lockdown, restrictions have taught people to value the ease of accessibility. But in the dystopian future, human souls are not even alive to determine accessibility. An eerie silence has followed the complete chaos.
Sarkar wants to fulfill her desperate need to feel a human presence by wanting to see the face of her admirer. But the latter snubs her, saying that while she is trying to fulfil all her demands instantly, dreams of many, including his, have been shattered due to the pandemic.
The two characters almost represent the state of the privileged and the marginalised in the country amidst the lockdown. But some of the dialogues expressing the personal equation between Sarkar and Das don’t seem to fit the context. This takes place especially, when Sarkar speaks of Das’s looks.
Some of the other dialogues in the first portion of the film seem to stretch the narrative unnecessarily. So much so, that you want to fast forward the film.
However, the twist at the end seems to be the film's saving grace. Moulik has made sure that he ends the film on a positive note, as spreading positivity during the current times seems crucial.
Sarkar’s overly dramatic act depicts all the traits of greed and desperation that has consumed humanity. However, Das seems too passive and his dialogue delivery lacks modulation. Perhaps, he wanted to maintain a contrast to Sarkar’s pronounced act. But with his face masked, his expressions are already muted.
Moulik’s basic concept behind making the film covers a wide range of ideas that humanity perhaps needs to contemplate. However, a little finesse in writing the dialogues could have made Ekti Tara a more engaging watch.
Watch the film in the link below:
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