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Review Hindi

Cinestaan Curates: Step Out examines mental health and domestic abuse in the lockdown

Release Date: 04 Feb 2021

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Sukhpreet Kahlon

Directed by Hridaye Nagpal, the film stars Neha Dhupia, who is also one of the producers.

The pandemic-induced lockdown has seen a host of short films examining the issues of mental health and domestic abuse. The situation of being trapped at home became a traumatic one for many whose only escape from the claustrophobia of their personal lives was to get out for work.

Directed by Hridaye Nagpal, Step Out is one such film where we witness a conversation between a therapist and her patient, only to realize that their situation is more complex than it appears at first.

Krish (Dev Dutt) is a musician who is speaking to his therapist (Neha Dhupia) virtually. Engaged in a profession that his parents do not approve of, he feels all the more distraught as he is caged at home, with no release. With no means of earning a livelihood through his art, he feels doubly trapped and worthless. Frustrated and distraught, he seeks refuge in speaking to her.

The session is interrupted by the therapist's husband who enquires about some ice-cream and we realize that the situation is very different for her than what was perceived. Dhupia’s character comes across as professional and poised while her patient exhibits a gamut of emotions.

The film is only 10 minutes long, but conveys a lot. The resolution seems a bit easy and neat, and for that reason unconvincing. The performances are well executed, especially given that the characters sit in front of a screen for the most part. The editing keeps the interest as the shots are manoeuvred to maintain the suspense till the end.

The lockdown only exacerbated the trauma of victims of domestic abuse and Step Out highlights the plight of countless people in the situation. The film is available on the Humaramovie channel on YouTube as well as on Disney+ Hotstar.

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Cinestaan Curates Disney+ Hotstar YouTube

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