Close-Up ক্রিঞ্জ খাওয়ার গল্প


R E V I E W – S H O R T  F I L M 


Fatin Hamama


*Spoiler Alert*

 

The only thing Close-Up কাছে আসার গল্প brought me closer to this year is solemn, pure disappointment. And since I’d like to share the suffering, here’s a trio of short reviews for each of the কাছে আসার গল্প this year, just to make it easier though, I’ll point out the recipes at the beginning of each of them so that you don’t have waste much time deciding what to cringe at first:

অথবা প্রেমের গল্প

Recipe:

  • Storyline as diluted as memes about the misery of Bangali people who are single
  • Female protagonist who deliberately talks in an extremely annoying voice
  • Instant love, but the guy starts creepily complimenting the girl at first sight
  • Low effort representation of mental health conditions

অথবা প্রেমের গল্প  basically follows the story of Farzana, whose family moves to a village, where she keeps regularly meeting Sourav, who works at a telephone shop as she has a weird obsession with talking over phone and her parents have taken her phone away(?). However, Sourav falls for her “at first sight”. They both go through a sob phase after she rejects him despite having asked him out herself the day before(??), but then it turns out that she’s been dealing with psychological problems after having been betrayed by a boyfriend who didn’t exist(???), but then the telephone guy starts dating her and all’s well.

Sorry to sound mean, but there was absolutely nothing of appreciation in this short film. It just revolved around the same old tropes related to instant love scenario — guy refusing to wash or taint his hand with anything because the girl had touched it (Gross, dude. There’s a pandemic going on), guy expressing his love a week after having met girl, and whatnot. 

Also, how the part about the female protagonist having mental health problems was handled is a little infuriating. First off, they came up with a ridiculous backstory to explain her present psychological condition, which is that she was apparently in a relationship with a fake online identity who betrayed and left her. Well, sympathies. But how exactly is she an adult and can’t differentiate between a real person and a fake online presence? The more this kept playing out, the more it felt as if the creators were treating the whole subject of PTSD as a straw to grasp at when they were drowning in the blankness of the empty plot they created themselves.

The acting is far from being acceptable, as the dialogues are unquestionably subpar and the deliveries were either too bland or simply too bad due to forced casualness. There’s nothing new to add about the cinematography either as it was nothing special. To conclude, I want my 25 minutes back.

শূন্য থেকে শুরু

Recipe:

  • Intellectual softboi writer who wants to stay as close to nature as possible, but eats ভাত-মাছ with spoon and fork
  • Female protagonist who’s painfully one-dimensional
  • Too many dialogues that contain the word প্রকৃতি
  • A plot that’s just…boring.

This one right here, is the best one out of all three, but that’s simply because it’s more bland than it is disappointing. শূন্য থেকে শুরু  follows Rebecca (who I’m guessing is a journalist of sorts) as she seeks out Rashed, a famous writer with social anxiety who lives in isolation in a place far from urbanisation, for an interview. Over the course of her stay at his place, they spend good times together. However, their contact decreases after she goes back to Dhaka, even more so after a sudden meeting ends haphazardly. But then, a year later, Rashed sends her a primary draft of his new book and BOOM, she falls for him again and they’re now together.

One thing I did like is that throughout the course of the film, both the characters at least look somewhat comfortable in their roles even though the dialogues and their deliveries were a little awkward and repetitive at times. For instance, there’s this snippet of the interview where the female lead was asking the questions, and it sounded as if she were struggling with remembering the script, and there was no spontaneity at all. As for the male lead, dude just kept answering the questions through pretentious Google quotes about loving nature and so on. It was painfully bland to watch.

While the male lead with all his nature drama did feel like he had some semblance of depth, the female lead did not. It just felt as if she were used as nothing but a prop of inspiration for the guy to start contemplating loneliness and love and whatnot. Come to think of it, I was paying attention to the film the whole time, and I still don’t know what exact profession she even had.

However, much as I don’t want to admit it, শূন্য থেকে শুরু  can easily be considered the best out of the bunch. A little incoherent and totally basic, yes. But it’s still better to be bored out of your mind than be faced with a constant stream of cringe when it comes to Kache Ashar Golpo.

একদিন বৃষ্টিতে বিকেলে

Recipe:

  • A title that has no relation whatsoever to the film itself
  •  Extremely awful random voice-overs
  • Side character who was definitely there just to satisfy the stereotype that all men who work in the fashion industry are feminine
  •  Main characters so unremarkable that the side character had to be introduced first

Rony meets Sruti, a costume designer working in show business, when she hails his Uber one night. She mistakenly leaves her purse (collective eye-roll cause we all know what’s coming) in the car which results in them meeting again.

And then they meet again.

And again.

And then there’s a party at Sruti’s place.

And Rony leaves.

And they spend some time apart, acting sad for reasons unknown.

And then they meet again and that’s it, they’re together.

This entire film was nothing but a series of loosely connected storylines and overall, has a plot so peppered with blankness that I couldn’t even come up with a proper synopsis. The characters as well as their love story have no arc and no decipherable connections in between. I guess the creators were trying to convey a message about love not being limited to people residing in the same social/financial position, but they should’ve realised that the whole purpose of a film, no matter how short it is, cannot be conveyed through a 2-minute-long stupid scene at a party. And therefore, this was a disaster.

There was also one thing that bothered me a lot as a viewer. At one point of the short film, a male friend of Sruti who also works in the fashion industry was introduced, and he was made to act somewhat feminine in such a forcible and unnatural way that it was very uncomfortable. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with men being feminine, but this felt like it was here just to feed into this stereotypical trope that:

1. All men who work in a field that’s not conventionally considered masculine, are feminine and,

2. Being feminine means being constantly naggy and cheerful in an anoying manner. 

 

All in all, while the first one out of the three was unbearably cringey, the third one was unbearably empty. If you have time to spare anyway, you could give the second one a watch; but no more. Ah, Close-Up Kache Ashar Golpo. Making me stray further and further away from ever wanting to experience a romantic encounter in my life, each year.

 


All of Hamama’s problems smell like দারুচিনি cause she’s দ্বীপ into them 24/7 . She also happens to be a part of TDA Editorial Team.

 

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