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© 2016 by Bucharest ShortCut CineFest. All rights reserved.

FILM REVIEW

'DESTINY'
- Directed by Vikkramm Chandirramani -

This short is an accurate portrayal of the changing priorities in modern Indian society, reflecting its Westernization by means of a “what goes around comes around” story.

Tanya is a beautiful, yet shallow girl in her 20s who appears to spend most of her time hanging around with her best friend, Richa, or browsing matchmaking websites. When Derek, one of the men she meets on a website, rebuffs her after only two dates (and, to make matters worse, does so with a phone call), Tanya plans, in a manner characteristical of her immaturity, to take revenge on him by making him chase after false profiles of other women. As soon as this plan gets underway, Richa becomes a sidekick of sorts to Tanya and is mainly used further as “dialogue relief”.

Tanya’s dialogue matches her personality perfectly, realistically contouring an obnoxious, superficial character who decides to act maliciously against another for no other reason than conceitedness and a slightly wounded ego.

In the end, thanks to “luck”, “karma” or, more accurately, “deus ex machina”, Derek conveniently meets the love of his life in the middle of Tanya’s last prank and marries her without further ado, much to Tanya’s chagrin, as shown in the film’s last frame.

Aside from the sleight of hand with which the actors switch from Marathi to English and vice versa, which can also relate as a theme to the film’s portrayal of contemporary society in India’s most populous city, there is no particular highlight of their performance worth mentioning. On the contrary, albeit not consistently from beginning to end, there are a number of clichés reminiscent of Bollywood’s particular style of performance which seem out of place in a film that clearly strays from that path, as well a pronounced lack of credibility in some scenes.

The same thing can be said about the directing and editing, as zooming in and out of characters’ faces is done quite unsubtly and serves only to underline that which is already stated in the actor’s performance or dialogue, leading to redundancy.

There are noticeable inconsistencies in the film’s rhythm, particularly in its use of dynamic music over static or slow scenes and cuts.

Nevertheless, as far as script, dialogue and editing is concerned, the film’s comedic and plot devices are generally functional and the story is conveyed in a light, audience-friendly manner.

 

The same lightheartedness also applies to the title, stripping the word `destiny` of its epic and ominous connotations and using it to illustrate day-to-day incidents any viewer can relate to.

To sum it up, `Destiny` is a light romantic comedy, by all chances enjoyable for the genre’s fans; nevertheless, the film could use with some technical and performance-related improvements, which we hope to see in the filmmaker’s future work.

 

Written by Razvan Enciu