Voot Original Shortcuts: From Ishq Ki Googly to Maya, seven best short films from a diverse, inventive anthology

Udita Jhunjhunwala

Mar 13, 2019 09:46:27 IST

The easiest place to set an eerie story is in the confines of a car with a solitary driver travelling down a dark and lonely road. The setting is a circumstance replete with dangerous, scary, chilling possibilities. This is also the most common centrepiece in the short films screening on the Voot platform.

Shortcuts is a curated section that is currently offering 12 films ranging from 12 to 20 minutes long — the perfect duration to fill those idle minutes and be entertained at the same time. Well, that is if “offbeat thriller dramas” are your jam.

Voot Original Shortcuts: From Ishq Ki Googly to Maya, seven best short films from a diverse, inventive anthology

Image from YouTube

Not all the 12 films are equally entertaining, inventive or spooky (and at least three stories unfold on the road).

Below is my pick of seven from this set that take the short format a long way.

Ishq Ki Googly

Amol Parasher and Manu Rishi Chadha feature in Neeraj Udhwani’s occasionally predictable but mostly lighthearted two-hander, in which a husband’s plans to confront his wife’s lover go off-kilter. During a car journey, a passenger chats with the driver about relationships and infidelity until the conversation, and journey, takes them around some sharp, and twisted, bends.

Glitch 

Shubham Singh’s story follows 12-year-old Kabir who discovers that if he works with a small “glitch in time”, he can change the outcome of a fight between his parents. Mona Singh plays the incensed mother but it is Kabir Sajid Shaikh as her son, marching around purposefully in his undergarments, who steals the show.

Bouma

Bidita Bag (just lovely) and Rajatava Dutta play a married couple in a passive aggressive relationship — she is passive, he is grouchy and aggressive. Director Debatma Mandal’s 14-minute drama is set in Calcutta of the 1960s. With echoes of Roald Dahl’s brand of dark humour, the story takes an unexpected and deliciously wicked turn after the husband’s death.

Maya

Writer-director Vikas Chandra explores the complex relationship between a mother and daughter as with age, roles begin to reverse. The daughter is torn between her future and independence while contending with her mother’s poor health. Kirti Kulhari and Alka Amin are at the centre of this 19-minute drama, delivering performances that are undeniably moving.

On The Road

Originally titled Paambum Koneem (Snake and Ladder), this 15-minute Malayalam film follows Aravind on a long drive down empty streets. A phone conversation with a friend who is narrating his film script turns into a bizarre reality in this thriller directed by Mohamed Sohal, that looks at the consequences of our choices.

Grey

Priya Aven’s 15-minute film, which claims to be based on true incidents, has a Jeffrey Archer feel to it. A stoic, but snarky cop (Brijendra Kala in top form) is interrogating an autistic man about his wife’s murder. The rest of the cast comprises the only other potential witnesses to the murder — an ant, a cat and an African Grey parrot.

An Usual Day (Aun)

A photographer and a tribesman face-off with each other — the former is pointing his camera while the latter is poised with a bow and arrow pointed at the photographer. Director TS Prasanna’s gripping 12-minute film has two spoken words but layers of comment on trust, civilisation and our view of “the other”. Set in a stark landscape, this tale explores what can happen when two disparate worlds cross.

The remaining five that complete the dozen shorts are Joyride, Derma, Chacha and Cheetah’s Trip, Teaspoon and Red Velvet.

Updated Date: Mar 13, 2019 09:46:27 IST

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