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A Monsoon Date Is A Moving Homage To The Transgender Community

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A Monsoon Date (Eros Now)

Short Film Directed by Tanuja Chandra

Rating: *** (3 stars)

    There is  a date, and then are  are the dates. As  the unnamed  girl in the pouring rain gets into the shared cab she meets a Muslim  couple whose daughter is  to get married. The friendly Muslim lady thrusts date fruits in the troubled heroine’s  hands.

“Take take,” she goes in broken angrezi. A  manufactured moment meant only to  fill  the  space  provided.

But Konkona Sen, her face showing every  twitch of terror and apprehension that her character feels, has got another date on her mind. She  must meet her  boyfriend  of one month(played by  Priyanshu Painyuli, the talented actor who played the title  role in Bhavesh Joshi) and tell him the dark  truth about herself.

It’s a heart-rending situation which, if the truth be told,  didn’t really require any elaboration. Hence  even the   short-story format seems  to have been stretched out , with  sundry characters popping up  like unwanted  performers at a big rock concert where  Elton John is supposed  to perform.

And really,  the talkative cabbie (Chittranjan  Tripathy) is  a cliché that such a path-breaking  story could have  avoided. He offers unwanted conversation. Just like the dates.

But then all we need to do is look at  Konkona Sen Sharma’s face as  it mirrors the dilemma  and anguish of a gender-corrected woman who must tell her man the truth about herself. And all our misgivings are washed away  in  the pelting rain.

There are  flashes  of flashbacks where  we see a young boy running around on a beach with  lipstick on, and  at one point the screenplay(for reasons best known  to itself) forces Konkona out of  the  cab into  an auto in the pouring rain  only so that  she can  come face to face with a  hijda at a  traffic light. At such  moments I felt the need  for  a little more tact , a little more  sensitivity, and a lot more empathy for the  man/woman’s  conflict.

Having said this,  Monsoon Date is  still worth  20 minutes of  our time for Konkona’s  empathetic performance and team’s  unconcealed  concern  for  a gender that has crossed  the line but doesn’t know how to go ahead.Perhaps  that explains the tentative tenor of this tiny tale that seems far longer than it should.

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