A review by Alisha Bhatia
What happens when the path puts you in reverse gear.
Szoon Media’s “V RESIST,” released on Pocket Films in November 2023, isn’t just a short film; it’s a tapestry woven with intellectual threads, leaving a lasting imprint on the viewer’s mind. Sumit Chaddha, donned in the triple crown of director, producer, and writer, paints a canvas of profound storytelling and visceral impact.
Driver’s descent and the Stark Reality of Loan Disparity:
Sumit Chadha, in a stroke of an emergency, steps into the shoes of Johnny, a man grappling with an existential shift – from aspiring journalist to disillusioned cab driver. The film opens with a satirical phone call, Johnny’s voice dripping with sarcasm as he confronts a bank employee over a loan repayment. This scene isn’t just a dialogue exchange; it’s a stark exposé of the societal distance between the crony capitalists who enjoy loan waivers and the marginalized who struggle under the weight of debt. It’s a bitter pill swallowed with a cynical grin.
Beyond the Surface: Untangling Toxic Relationships and Societal Norms:
However, “V RESIST” is more than just economic commentary. It delves into the murky depths of human relationships, revealing the toxicity that lurks beneath the surface. Johnny’s phone calls hint at a troubled relationship with his partner, laced with an unsettling anti-women sentiment. The film doesn’t shy away from these uncomfortable truths, forcing us to confront our own biases and societal norms.
Aakash’s Probing Questions Shake Our Collective Consciousness:
Enter Aakash (played by the masterful Ravi Sharma), a character who shatters our complacency with his thought-provoking questions about nature and our interconnectedness. He challenges us to see beyond the confines of our own perspectives, urging us to question the very fabric of society. His presence is a breath of fresh air, a catalyst for introspection.
A Spectrum of Human Experience:
On the other end of the spectrum lies Mitti Lal (portrayed by Amman Bamlwa), the shrewd businessman we all recognize. He embodies the pragmatic, profit-driven side of human nature, a necessary counterpoint to the film’s idealistic characters. Saajan (played by Kashish Bhatia), the cab driver with a poet’s heart, adds a touch of whimsy and depth to the narrative. All the actor’s dedication shines through as Kashish reveals the challenges of mastering both acting and driving for the role, a testament to the film’s meticulous attention to detail.
A Plant Interview and the Unconventional Voice of Journalism:
“V RESIST” doesn’t shy away from unconventional storytelling. A scene where Johnny interviews plants, asking them about their experiences, is a poignant reminder of our disconnect from nature and its silent suffering. It’s a powerful critique of sensationalized journalism, urging us to listen to the unheard voices and question the narratives we consume.
A Gripping Mystery and a Call to Action:
As the film unfolds, a gripping murder mystery takes center stage, weaving together the threads of social commentary and personal struggles. The twists and turns keep us on the edge of our seats, but they’re not mere entertainment; they’re catalysts for thought. The film’s ability to captivate isn’t just about entertainment; it’s about sparking dialogue and demanding introspection.
Beyond Entertainment: A Societal Mirror and a Call to Arms:
“V RESIST” transcends the boundaries of a short film. It’s a cinematic experience that leaves us reeling, questioning, and ultimately, yearning for change. It holds up a mirror to our society, reflecting our flaws and injustices. But it doesn’t stop there; it also proposes us to brainstorm how the economic disparity forces people to cross the line and resist the status quo, fight for a more just and equitable world. It’s a film that stays with you long after the credits roll, urging you to become an active participant in shaping the narrative of our society.