Shuruaat Ka Twist (Anthology of six short films)
Cast: Neena Gupta, Amit Sial, Chunky Panday, Delnaaz Irani and others
Streaming on: Voot Select
Anthology is the latest OTT trend. But most often these anthologies headlined by big names in the film industry have produced amateur content packaged in top notch production value and sometimes starring top billing actors. Shuruaat Ka Twist, an anthology of 6 short films, which is part of the Voot Select Film Festival is the latest addition to this club. Some of the films are presented/mentored by celebrated filmmakers like Rajkumar Hirani, Vikramaditya Motwane, Amit Masurkar and Raj Kumar Gupta and feature actors like Chunky Panday, Neena Gupta, and Delnaaz Irani. But none of these six films leave an impression.
In Tap Tap, Chunky Panday plays a ‘had been’ music composer, struggling with failure. It’s an inspired casting and Panday does a fine job playing that character. It is harsh reality, sure, but during this depressing pandemic people are already dealing with a lot of BS. I doubt that a person would want to see stories of failure and mental disorders which don’t have any hope in the end.
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Which brings me to Khauff, the most depressing short of the lot. Anil (Amit Sial) suffers from fear of death. He’s not ready to listen to his psychiatrist. Then there’s a twist. Won’t spoil it for you. Enjoy or suffer that at your own risk. Khauff is presented by Raj Kumar Gupta (Aamir, Ghanchakkar, Raid).
Next segment titled Adi Sonal is presented by Vikramaditya Motwane. Featuring Neena Gupta, the film talks about domestic abuse/violence against women. The film is paced starkly slow, glaring at patriarchy. If I recollect correctly there’s no background score either. The end of the film is rewarding, might seem dreamy but serves the purpose in the film.
Bhaskar Calling, mentored by Rajkumar Hirani is a half-baked comedy involving a bank executive and an old Parsi man. The humor is forced with silly puns. The twist in the end is just like Rajkumar Hirani’s films, a massy dramatization far away from reality. If only we could manipulate people in real life like the characters in his films do.
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Amit Masurkar has presented the next segment titled Gutthi (The Knot). It has two roommates/friends at the center of its conflict. But what is the conflict, you ask? In the beginning it seems like it revolves around domestic violence but then it moves onto something else and ends on a different note altogether. You wonder why the gutthi was there in the first place.
The last film (finally) of the anthology is titled Guddu. There’s a runaway bride, a boy with her. In a parallel track, there’s a couple on the verge of calling their marriage off. You keep wondering what’s happening. The meeting point of both the tracks is well crafted.
All of these segments seem like polished versions of amateur YouTube films made by filmmaking students. Barring Adi Sonal there’s nothing that stands out as something substantial. The anthology trend is going to continue. What we can only expect is that we get to watch some good short films.