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Review Hindi

M.O.M. review: Hard-hitting drama about the far-reaching consequences of bullying

Release Date: 26 Jan 2018 / 19min

Cinestaan Rating

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Suyog Zore

Written and directed by Rohit Gupta, the short film delves into how mental trauma caused by bullying at school can ruin someone's entire life.

Bullying is a serious crime that has caused many students to take their own lives. Despite strict laws in place to combat bullying, it remains rampant in schools and colleges. The situation is worse for LGBTQ+ students as they are constantly bullied and made fun of by classmates. Students who grow up in this environment cannot emerge from the trauma for many years thereafter.

M.O.M. tells the story of one such guy, Ved (Atul Bhalla), who faced a lot of bullying in school for his sexual orientation and hasn't recovered from the mental anguish. M.O.M. starts with Ved narrating his harrowing experience of bullying in school to his psychologist. These memories still haunt him and have made him suicidal. As he narrates his experiences, we see newspaper clippings about bullied children ending their lives.

Writer-director Rohit Gupta has taken up a serious issue and presented it with sincerity. Ved is handicapped and his lanky figure makes things worse for him. He is a painter who spends his day painting in his house. The director uses these paintings to tell us what is going on inside Ved's head. Painting is a crucial narrative device in this short film and the director has used it smartly.

Despite the subject matter, the film never becomes melodramatic. Gupta handles everything in a realistic manner, including the performances of the cast. Though there are two other characters in the film, M.O.M. relies heavily on the acting talent of Atul Bhalla.

Bhalla expresses his feelings a lot through his eyes. The fear he feels when travelling by train, the uneasiness and shame when he knows people are making fun of him behind his back, all these feelings are conveyed to the viewer by Bhalla's eyes.

The film has been beautifully scored by Achal Yadav and the haunting score perfectly complements the visuals. The film doesn't have any aesthetically beautiful shots, but then the subject did not require fancy camerawork. Vaibhav Krishna's camera focuses on capturing the emotions of each scene.

There is a shocking twist in the end that will force you to watch the film again. It provides new perspective to a lot of things that have gone before. Overall, this hard-hitting drama about the far-reaching consequences of bullying is a must-watch. The twist is simply the cherry on top.

M.O.M. is now available for viewing on MX Player and on the CineShorts Premiere channel on YouTube.

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