Reviews

Chaar Cutting: A blunt cut



Blouse, Skin Deep, Manila Running and Bawdi

An anthology of four short films, Chaar Cutting released last week without much fanfare is a welcome break from the sameness that Bollywood offers in terms of form. Short films have their own life and rhythm and if treated well they can be more forceful and satiating than feature films.

Here only Blouse brings that quality to the table. Directed by Vijeyta Kumar, its strength lies in treating a seemingly risqué theme with dollops of earthy simplicity and understated humour. A teacher’s wife asks him to get her blouse stitched by a popular tailor called Babu from a neighbouring village. When Masterji misses the sample blouse, the endearing Babu asks him to keep an eye on the women of the village and tell him whose bust size matches that of his wife. It is a sweet little tale with a wicked twist made all the more relatable by the performance of Imran Rasheed as Babu. He humanises the neighbourhood tailor with his realistic body language and intonation.

Manila Running by Anuj Gulati has a feel of a quirky thriller about a man being followed in the lanes of Manila.

The big reveal about his presence in the city is funny but there is very little around or beyond it.

Vivek Soni’s Bawdi seems like a show reel of a director aspiring to make a feature film. Set in Rajasthan it is about a young man who has to pick between his love and father, between a job in a cola major in the city and the farming which is being sucked dry by the same soft drink giant. It is an interesting clash in times when globalisation is knocking at the doors of rural India, when migration is no longer a matter of choice.

However, Soni doesn’t have the tools to express his intent.

The idea gets lost amid lame conversations and the show off of technical acumen leaves one parched. Hardik Mehta’s Skin Deep is a little more involving largely because of the performances by Aditi Vasudev and Navin Kasturia and Hardik’s ability to steer clear of sleazy innuendos in a story that hangs on circumcision.

The boy feels pain in making love with her girl friend who is being forced to get married by her parents to a boy not of her choice.

The boy decides to go for circumcision before eloping but things go awry in the operation theatre. It is a strange story that fails to evolve into something more ambitious. In fact all the four films are serviceable but none of the young directors aspire to leave a lasting impression by flirting with the format. They play safe in a set-up that gives you the freedom to be audacious with the form and content.


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Printable version | Jun 12, 2021 7:10:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/cinema-reviews/chaar-cutting-a-blunt-cut/article7286443.ece

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