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Review Assam

Cinestaan Curates: Poetry Of Whispers is an exquisite meditation on loneliness and the power of cinema

Release Date: 26 Sep 2020 / 9min


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Sukhpreet Kahlon

Maharshi Kashyap’s Assamese language short film conjures up different worlds with its exquisite use of the soundscape.

What is it about the medium of cinema that captivates us and transports us to different worlds, allowing us an immersive, emotionally bewitching experience like no other?

Maharshi Kashyap’s Assamese language short film Kaan-phus-phusot Phus-phusoni translates to whispering into the telephone and the film uses this as a device in this enchanting film, which on the surface is about young lovers snatching precious moments to speak to each other but opens up into a whole other realm.

Biswo and Mukuta are young lovers trying to stay connected despite being far away from each other. Biswa is in the city and Mukuta's description of her village evokes feelings of nostalgia and longing in Biswa. She, on the other hand, misses her mother and recalls her love for her, which inspires Biswo to transform that emotion into a film.

Foregrounding the aural, the soundscape creates the atmosphere of the film, becoming the bridge for transitioning between different spaces, evoking a crowded room and bustling kitchen one moment and transporting you to the quiet sounds of a village night the next.

The film has been shot in one long take, which lends it a fluidity, and the camera moves seamlessly from one space to another, its lilting movement mirroring the strains of the song heard on the radio as it conjures up the idea of loneliness and home. In many ways the film is about yearning — that of the lovers for each other, Mukuta’s yearning for her mother, Biswo’s yearning for the village, and the artist’s quest for inspiration.

The deliciously layered film leaves us thinking about the cinematic medium in particular and art in general as it raises questions about the artist and his inspiration as well as the worlds that cinema creates for us to experience, engulfing us within it.

Kashyap is currently a student at the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute and the film was made as part of an exercise to use one long take. Poetry Of Whispers has travelled to almost 30 film festivals across the world and won the award for Best Student Short Film at the International Moving Film Festival at Abadan, Iran, and awards for Best Cinematography and Best Sound Design at the Flame First Cut International Film Festival, Pune.

The film is available for viewing on MovieSaints.com, the online box office for curated independent films.

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