Movies

This Malayalam mockumentary short film takes a satiric look at the status of economy

A still from the short film

A still from the short film   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

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‘Naaleyaanu Naaleyaanu Naale’, released on YouTube recently, is directed by Hari Mohan M

Perhaps, there’s no shortcut to success. But there may be one to getting rich — win a lottery. Short film Naaleyaanu Naaleyaanu Naale, written and directed by Hari Mohan M, is a satiric take on unemployment and economic hiccups in the country narrated in the form of a mockumentary.

The short, released on YouTube recently, follows an unnamed 28-year-old “graduate” who purchases a lottery ticket on his way to meeting his three friends, all unemployed, and zooms in on their candid conversations as they discuss how their lives will turn around if only they won the raffle.

A poster

A poster   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The lottery taker is hopeful of winning one soon as he’s now riding the luck of “shukra disha” and hence expects a favourable “astronomical surgical strike.” Even as one thinks it’s an “optimistic” idea to try one’s luck, another is more discouraging, pointing out it’s a waste of money. However, after much wishful thinking, they all go back to their ordinary, carefree lives at the end of the day.

Despite the gravity of the matter they discuss, the naive youth are only largely concerned about fulfilling their rather unrealistic dreams and fantasies. For instance, frustrated at not having a proper “pitch” to play cricket, one says he will build a stadium when they win a lottery. In line with the docu-comedy format, we have “experts” chipping in with their take on the matter. So there is a Professor of Economics from “WhatsApp University” who equates competitive exams with taking lottery as “both are dependent on luck”. The social satire element perhaps finds the best expression in the line “Probably, the only thing that can save the country now is the finance minister winning a lottery.”

Hari says he chose the mockumentary format to address the themes as he felt the framework fits within a shoestring budget. “Also, I like the format and it’s a suitable medium to convey humour. Even elements of absurdism can be incorporated as they would work as satire. There’s also the novelty factor since there aren’t many mockumentary short films in Malayalam,” says Hari, who worked as assistant cinematographer in Lal Jose-directed 41 and upcoming King Fish. Ajai Thampy, Arjun Krishna, Achuth Giri, Akash Raveendran, Aadith Hari and Shyam Raveendran are among the cast in the short.

Hari Mohan M

Hari Mohan M   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The doctor-turned-aspiring-filmmaker was inspired to come up with the meta-narrative script after discovering that a cousin of his was in the habit of buying lottery tickets. “This person was unemployed for a couple of years after doing engineering. Later, I learnt that he was trying his luck. That was news to me as I was under the impression it was mostly the elderly who had the habit. This gave me the idea,” he says.

As luck would have it!

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 7:57:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/this-malayalam-mockumentary-short-film-takes-a-satiric-look-at-the-status-of-economy/article30532527.ece

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