Movie Critics : Vijay C & Simran
Prima Facie Thoughts
We came across this short movie while surfing across muvizz.com, the only place where you’ll find mindful Indian & cross-cultural cinema on the web, in a time where the moribund effects of Neoliberalism and the Gestapo tactics of Marketing have taken Bollywood by storm.
The first thing that appealed to us was the name – Taandav, and what a confound find this 11 minute piece turned out to be.
In its short time frame, Taandav captured the ignoble, admonitory temperance of the society – The most aberrant, appalling machine that construes your apocryphal reality.
But, how do you escape the Unbearable ennui and altercation that is all around you? Such is the germane, forlorn truth of fatuous human life.
You are not in Fat City. You will never be there, because it doesn’t exist. You will always be here, like a dainty carcass, sandwiched between the ulterior motives that belie your existence and the false predilection of twisted lies. On that immensely spurious and pejorative musing, is there a vent open to us? Is there a parallel space that we can seek refuge in? This is just what the movie answers.
The short film, is directed by Devashish Makhija who has worked in award-winning films like Black Friday and Bunty Aur Babli and was produced by muvizz.com
The film was launched by one of the most versatile film-makers, Mr. Anurag Kashyap, who after watching the film was all praise for it. (So were we!)
Taandav stars Manoj Bajpai, Suhas Sirsat, Ashish Warang, Vibhawari Deshpande, Pradnya, Anvita Dutt, Anand Alkunte and Abishek Banerjee.
This 11 minute film revolves around corruption, honesty,morality,stress, life of a Police Officer and the art of letting go.
Manoj Bajpai who plays the lead role of an honest head Constable is given a nightlong duty on the occasion of Ganpati visarjan.
The dance with blinding lights and deafening music wakes up his senses in every possible way, and triggers portions of his perfunctory memory where he’s forced to reminiscence and revisit past situations of helplessness, frustration and pent-up anger.
He thinks about the events that had happened to him a few days ago.
First he goes to a school to admit his daughter where they demand a high fees which is much beyond a common man’s earning, and he is left anxious and gaping.
Mr.Devashish, in his staggering directorial, making use of the worst of man’s enemies- his ability to reason, next takes us to a crime scene where one of his friends, a fellow Officer finds the money they were looking for and asks the Constable whether they can keep it. Thus, begins the first trace of a decadent system choked with corruption.
The Officer assures him that no one will ever know about their but the Honest Constable refuses.
He then heads home where his wife and daughter don’t speak to him which makes him sad, and even more helpless.
Then the scene shifts back to the festival, a symbol of joy and communion, where ironically, two men are seen arguing with each other for a petty issue in front of him. As time passes, his blood boils to a saturation point so much so, that he drags both the men into the crowd and pulls out his gun. He points it towards the two men and asks them to dance. Sounds cynical right? They comply and dance.
What do you think would have happened next? He would have Fired the gun?
He dances to burst away all the stress he had. He dances for a few lone minutes with himself and his introspective psyche which he completely enjoyed. The Dance is very well choreographed and evokes a certain fear, accompanied by pleasure & release of emotions in the audience.
The video of him dancing vigorously is shot by the same corrupt friends & uploaded on YouTube in a bid to tarnish his image. He is told that he may get suspended for this imbecility. But he seemed less worried than before. His anxiety was gone. His pressure was released. His struggles with himself had come full circle.
The protagonist finally heads home where he finds his wife and daughter enjoying the “Taandav” which he did.
The film ends with the line “The man is free at the moment he wishes to be”.
Freedom is a state of mind. Taandav beautifully captures the idea and makes a bold shift by compressing the concept into a short time frame.
Lord Shiva’s recuperative force to vince off anger, frustration and the commotion of existence, the power of the Holy Dance, Taandav brings us back to our roots. There’s nothing that you can not let go, if you’re willing to cut the chains off that tie you to it.
If the Gods can do it, so can you!
We rate it a 4.5/5!
If you haven’t watched the short film yet please do watch it for an unmatched experience!