Shame Is A Short Film With Long Legs

Shame(Short  Film)

Swara Bhaskar, Ranveer Shorey, Sayani  Gupta,  Cyrus Sahukar

Rating: *** ½(3 and a  half  stars)

 Any doubts  that some  of the  best work in cinema is happening in the short-film format is dispelled by this extraordinary  little film about  an  ordinary woman’s revenge  on her destiny.

Shame packs in  a deluge  of  action and reaction  in  a tale that could easily  be a sitcom or aromcom. Except that  it’s  founded on  the premise  of  savage cruelty. The  kind we inflict on those  not powerful enough to fight back.And then one  day,something snaps.

Fanny ,played with fabulous reverberations  of  a tragic splendor by Swara Bhaskar,  is  an amiable  housekeeper  in  a luxury hotel—liked by the  guests, as we are shown right  at the start. Her world  comes toppling down after  she is caught by  one  of the guests played byRanveer Shorey trying on his  mistress’ negligee while cleaning  the  room.

Fanny is, of course,  sacked  , and as  the ever-riveting Seema  Pahwa tells her, what can  a woman of meager means  and zero power do  ?

Plenty,  as it turns out. As Swara Bhaskar darkly determined and starkly vengeful , sets  off to play havoc on Shorey, we are taken into the  bizarrely entertaining  revenge of Meryl Streep’s She  Devil peppered with  the  scarily rampageous  ramifications  of  a slighted  Everyman , akin  to Michael Douglas in Falling Down  , who decides  he(or in this  case, she) won’t take the humiliation lying down .

While the film keeps the vendetta  on a  light burner(nothing  really harmful  happens until Shorey’s wife shows  up with their child  just  after he pukes on  his  mistress), it   has  very  dark and disturbing undertones  suggesting  a brewing rebellion  in the working class. Swara  is pitch-perfect as a  woman scorned. She  unleashes  her  fantasy of fury into scenes that play out in the spirit of  a freaked-out fairy tale with lots of pop-out pictures.  Perhaps  this  girl is  already  on  the  brink, not quite  “all there” when she’s  pushed over  the edge. Swaragives us a portrait  of a  spiraling selfworth  with  just the right flavour  of acrimony and  mischief.

Ranveer Shorey  as  the  philandering  bigot  is  as usual  made for the role. I  must make  mention of Cyrus Sahukar who  provides some  terrific comic relief as  the  hotel manager forced  to take off his trousers by  a  distraught  guest.

“Sir,  there must be  a more practical way  of settling this,” Sahukar squirms.

Luckily not. If there was, there wouldn’t be this  delightful saga about settling scores.

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