Imtiaz Ali's new short film The Other Way talks about changing times, life's challenges and confidence to steer through
Imtiaz Ali's short film, The Other Way, presents a human story — filled with emotional conflicts, desires and strive for freedom — through an interesting interplay of time.
Bollywood filmmaker Imtiaz Ali is considered to be one of the most promising directors of today's generation. While his films are primarily targeted at the youth, its concerns and how it sees the world around pan through ages.
From Socha Na Tha to Jab Harry Met Sejal, Ali has explored a lot: From complex relationships, travel love stories, introspection, celebration of life — all embedded in the Indian commercial movie template (along with the quintessential song and dance).
His latest offering is a short film — titled The Other Way — that he has written and directed. The film revolves around a rather 'revolting' subject of a bride running from her wedding as she is not sure whether her decision of getting married (to her own boyfriend) would work fine for her in the future.
Haven't we watched a few Hindi films on the same subject lately? (Hint: Shuddh Desi Romance) Yes, we have; most of the films also offer a solution to this before-getting-married anxiety (read: paranoia) — find stability, acknowledge the love around (both in the person and the surrounding) and what follows (again) is song-and-dance. Why? Because, everything's 'normal' again. Or so we are made to believe.
The Other Way does not (in the slightest way) take the route of glossy romance. The bride does meet another guy (in this case, a photographer); there's a spark, a sudden 'chemistry' between them; they have sex in wilderness (yeah, on the day of the bride's marriage); and yet they remain independent individualists throughout the film.
It is as simple: They needed it, they did it and they got it — without any sense of fear, remorse or apprehension (remember those lines from old Hindi films: 'Kahi humne kuch galat to nahi kiya?').
So what strikes out in this short film? While it definitely is the way Ali has shot the film — interplay of time in the past and in the present, almost taking the viewer on a ride (his forte) — but also how deftly he handles the subject. The journey is obviously physical but he also takes his characters on another voyage — that of introspection. He chooses not to offer any solution or be preachy but simply narrates a story of two people who just happened to meet by accident and decide to do something drastic. That is it.
The actors, Pavel Gulati and Shreya Chaudhry, are fresh faces and come across as believable people. Taking the pace of the short film format in consideration, the film never loses the grip. Having said all of that, could a story like this pass for a whole feature film? Perhaps, no.
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