Short film Movies

COVID-19: ‘Polar night’ is a short film on loneliness during lockdown

Rakesh Asileti’s film, starring Sonakshi Verma and Patruni Chidananda Sastry, deals with the pain of separation from the loved ones

Rakesh Asileti’s direction ‘Polar Night’ featuring Sonakshi Verma and Patruni Chidananda Sastry is a short-film on the current lockdown and how people deal with the pain of separation from their loved ones. The story revolves around a man who is placed in an imaginary geographical location of a city which witnesses a rare phenomenon called ‘polar night.’ Thereon, the writer director discusses how polar nights affect relationships with people. “I chose the polar night phenomenon as the nights are unusually longer then. The psychological and emotional journey of the protagonist is an analogy of the current situation of people experiencing the lockdown,” explains Rakesh. This is his maiden attempt at short filmmaking; he is otherwise a software engineer by profession.

Rakesh says he got working on the idea when the lockdown was announced and he was yearning to be with his family and loved ones. “The yearning could be to see a grandparent, a friend or even one’s siblings. Through my story I am discussing the emotions one goes through when forced to stay in isolation.”

Going into details of the film, Rakesh adds, “The project was completed with just two actors. It was all shot with the use of technology and most of the communication was on WhatsApp. We deliberately used minimal resources such as a mobile phone and basic editing tools to complete the film, to convey a message on maximum utilisation of resources within the periphery.”

Rakesh explains that the intent of the movie is to present a surreal thought to the audience about the normality of isolation and how people in multiple geographies are bound to live a lifestyle of isolation on a day to day basis. Patruni Sastry who is one of the two actors says, “The movie also aims to encourage people to respect the time they get from self isolation and do some introspection in the process.”

This is Patruni’s first experience with a short film and ihe s very excited about the story. Was he was excited that he was working with a friend? “We never worked together even though we admire each other’s work. It was a huge learning process as Rakesh is a perfectionist. I also loved the usage of minimalist technology which we didn’t know could be used to make a movie.”

(Polar Nights is five-minute long and will be released on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.)

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 7:25:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/polar-nigts-is-a-short-film-by-rakesh-asileti/article31362155.ece

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