In June last year, a video aptly named ‘Dancing Uncle’ went viral all across India and won a million hearts. The man of the hour, Sanjeev Shrivastava was recorded shaking a leg at a relative’s wedding in Gwalior and his Govinda-inspired moves created ripples across all social media platforms.
In his debut short film, Aapke Aa Jaane Se, director Shiladitya Bora takes Shrivastava’s incident and adapts it to a heart-warming, relevant story for the screen. Ramesh (Manu Rishi Chadha), fondly called Rammo babu, is a simpleton stuck in the mundanities of domestic life. His wife Prabha (Sunita Shyamsunder) and he perform their daily chores with calculated precision, barely smiling and are parents to two school-going children, studious Kuhu (Himani Soni) and PUBG obsessed Manu (Shloak Bhardwaj), who constantly bicker with each other.
The film, that plays out as ‘a day in the life of…’, gives us a peek into Ramesh’s routine, shuttling mainly from home to the saree shop where he works and back, with occasional stops at the local tea joint where he sometimes hangs out with his friends. We are given a glimpse at Rammo’s perplexity, through a series of comedic sequences, at the public’s growing obsession with social media and the phenomenon it has become. Where one scene highlights the unpredictability of ‘Whatsapp news’, another hilarious scene involving Mahesh Sharma, who plays Rammo’s assistant and mini TikTok celebrity, is an honest and vivid portrayal of our country’s fame hungry youth. A humble Rammo can only shake his head in exasperation. That is, until he himself is pushed into the spotlight by chance. Forced to perform at a friend’s wedding, Rammo finds himself in a tight spot – should he face the wrath and embarrassment of his family or give into his passion for dance!
The strength of Aapke Aa Jaane Se lies in its simplicity. The camera work is understated, as if mirroring Rammo’s life. The writing is concise and editing seamless, focused on delivering a tight narrative. Bora and the team at Platoon One manages to keep the audience engaged and pleased right till the end. For a debut, this film is a delight and definitely recommended.
I give this film 4 chirps.