Shuruaat Ka Twist is a mixed bag of success, failure and just simple mediocrity. While Humaramovie’s theme of well established directors mentoring budding directors is conceptually noble, this anthology fails to deliver as a whole. However with glimpses of resemblances with the mentors in the script and direction, we see a lot of originality too.
Praveen Fernandes’ Tap Tap starring Chunky Pandey explores the life of a music maestro who struggles to find his muse, given the shift in the music industry from classical music to rap and hip-hop. With an unexpected twist towards the end, we are left feeling awestruck at not only the ending but also Chunky Pandey’s skilled performance. Seeing him in this avatar is truly refreshing.
The next short film in the series is Hanish Kalia’s Khauf starring Amit Sial. This film has been mentored by Raj Kumar Gupta. It is the story of a corporate slave who is battling depression and turns to a mental health professional to seek help. The film has no artistic impact even with the twist it introduces. The audience is left feeling as gloomy as the script of this film.
Heena D’souza’s Adi Sonal starring Neena Gupta, mentored by Vikramaditya Motwane, stands out the most. The film acts as a saving grace for the anthology and is supported by a brilliant cast. Adi Sonal tells the story of a matriarch of a joint family, with a male figurehead, who runs the family all day with her two daughters in law. The director brilliantly captures patriarchy in this small town and the violence that comes with it. We are taken on a journey of exploring the various submissive customs of our culture where women are turned into malleable molds that compromise their dreams along the way. While the twist was not too climactic, we do witness a beautiful unspoken bond among the women towards the end.
While Adi Sonal and Tap Tap deliver standout performances, Sanjeev Kishinchandani’s Bhaskar Calling, mentored by Rajkumar Hirani, falls short. Shahriyar Atai plays an ageing Parsi gentleman who is home alone when he is visited by a housing loan officer while his daughter (Delnaaz Irani) is away at work. With the helplessness of the elderly being the focal point of the film, we are offered a much needed comedic relief but in the form of archaic jokes.
Guththi by Avalokita reflects the influence of its mentor Amit V. Masurkar the most. Guththi showcases an intimate friendship between two girls and how they navigate life in a metropolitan city. From career to relationships, we are with them on their journey but parts of this film are too monotonous and dragged out.
The final film in this anthology is Gaurav Mehra’s Guddu – an unexpected but realistic take on love. It features Anuritha Jha who is absconding from her very busy wedding house. Moments away from leaving for the temple, she runs away. Although a powerful dialogue by her ‘the society took my father away’ stays with us, we are left feeling there are tiny gaps in the script.
Shuruaat Ka Twist comes at the heel of many other anthologies in the recent but unfortunately it falls short in delivering a cohesive & entertaining experience.
Shuruaat Ka Twist is a part of the Voot Select Film Festival and is now streaming on Voot Select.