Suno review: Sumeet Vyas, Amrita Puri's short film is a nuanced take on domestic abuse
Suno acknowledges the complex emotional warp and weft of human relationships.
Suno is an effective, little chamber piece about a young couple coming to terms with the spectre of domestic abuse.
Director Shubham Yogi takes a sober approach to the subject. He focuses on the aftermath of the incident, thereby forgoing the depiction of violence, which, in a matter as sensitive as this, can be an incredibly tricky affair. More so in this story, for the young woman (Amrita Puri) is confused about the nature of the incident. Her husband (Sumeet Vyas) assures her that it was simply an accident, a simple case of kinks gone wrong. She agrees initially. But the reluctance and anxiety plastered across her face tells a different story and sets the tone for the rest of the film.
Vyas and Puri are the only characters in the film. But they will take vastly different routes towards understanding the true nature of the incident. By limiting the number of characters, Yogi is able to chart their respective emotional journeys quite well. It also provides them with ample time and opportunity to relate their versions of the incident, and renders the eventual realisation organic and earned from a narrative point of view. In the end, Puri will be urged towards a fuller comprehension of the violence by the people she meets and works with. That is a relevant point. It underscores society’s fundamental role as regards its members, the absence of which promotes alienation and violence at a remove.
Yogi handles his actors ably and his direction keeps up with the ebb and flow of the relationship’s dynamics. Vyas turns in a typically solid performance. He is an altogether inspired casting choice. The character arc fits in perfectly with his visage, and gainfully deploys his gift of effortlessly deflecting tension and quick judgements. Puri has a harder time coming to terms with the complexities of her character, especially within the shorter runtime. It results in an inconsistent performance that has its visible highs and lows. The truly dispensable musical score does not help the cause. Yogi would have been better advised to forsake it completely, for it simply fails to do justice to the emotional probity of the images.
Suno acknowledges the complex emotional warp and weft of human relationships. It patiently waits for the muddy water to settle instead of rushing to judge its characters and their motivations. This has the detrimental effect of temporal shifts that appear too jarring, resulting in expositional moments that could have been avoided. But the patience is ultimately rewarding.
Coupled with the director’s focus on the two characters, it makes for a short film that encourages reflection and rumination. And while the writing tends to flounder right at the end, the performances peak at the right time, steady the ship and bring an important message home.
Suno is presented by Terribly Tiny Tales.
Watch the short film here
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