Kriti: Shirish Kunder’s Short Film Is Better Than Joker

Damn.

You just can’t keep Radhika Apte away from agrophobia, it seems. She  put up an astounding act as an agrophobic in Phobia. Now in Shirish Kunder’s Kriti she is a  shrink talking about another character’s agrophobic condition in a short film that tries too hard to create shock waves , almost one every minute, or so.

The good news about Shirish Kunder’s short film Kriti(no, it’s not a bio-pic on Kriti Sanon) is that it of much shorter duration and far more watchable than his two feature films so far Jaan-e-Mann and Joker which clocked at a playing-time of around 3 hours and seemed a lot longer.

Kriti is  over in 19 minutes. It displays some smart scripting moves by Shirish, some of it bordering on cockiness. There is a female shrink(Apte, in a wig that seems just about the same length as the director’s natural hair), her patient played by Manoj Bajpai,not ‘cool’ enough to carry off the ‘caped’ fear look, I’m afraid, but whose sneaky eyes give away all his character’s insecurities.

And there’s a  mysterious girl on a laptop next to a swimming pool.

She is my favourite character in Kunder’s short-film, and not only because she gets bumped off but also  because she is played by the very pretty and spontaneous Neha Sharma. Just why her career has not taken off as yet is a mystery beyond the one provided by Kunder’s sassy script which is suffused with scares and some genuinely clever moments.

Alas, it all falls apart when the cop played by Manu Rishi enters the plot mouthing what seems like lines invented for comic relief.  Manu even has his own Edddie Murphy moment in the film when he makes a  Big Arrest in a clumsy comic way , quivering gun and all.

Finally, though Kunder’s Kriti proves itself to be gutsy and gritty. The director has also done the impressive background music which is mischievous and ominous, sort of echoing the film’s mood without too much fuss.

The eerie feeling in Kunder’s film doesn’t match up to Sujoy Ghosh’s short film Ahalya where again Radhika Apte played a spooky woman who may or may not exist.

Luckily either way ,we like her just as much.

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