Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Gutthi (The Riddle)

Duration: 28 minutes approximately
Language: Hindi
Director: Abhishek Chatterji
Channel: Pocket Films

This short film is of the crime and suspense genre. The suspense in this film builds up very gradually; actually you hardly notice it in the initial stages of the narrative. It is a story of essentially two men, one is a writer (played by Rathna Shaker Reddy) by profession and the other is Khalil (played by Naren Yadav), a sweeper. Khalil looks after the cleanliness of the building, he sweeps and collects garbage, and he also does odd jobs for the residents including arranging for ganja (marijuana) for those who wanted it. There is one more character, a young woman, with whom the writer meets with at a library and gets into a relationship with her. Soon this young lady (played by Choeeta Chakrabarti) mysteriously disappears without a trace. Who was she? Where did she come from? And where did she go? These questions remained unanswered for the writer.

Khalil does his job sincerely but he also has great curiosity in knowing about the lives of people he serves, this is an obsession with him. Interestingly he gets all the information he wants from the rubbish he collects every morning. Who ate what? Who has a relationship with whom? Who bought what? What were they doing last night? These are the things Khalil tries to find out.

The film shows a long conversation between the two men, this is where the suspense begins to build gradually like an undercurrent which comes to the surface at the end. I think this aspect has been handled by the director very well. A certain event in the film shows a marked change in Khalil attitude and personality which Naren Yadav who plays Khalil brings out beautifully, throughout the film he performed brilliantly. Rathna Shaker Reddy who plays the role of the writer is convincing and natural. In the film we are shown a statue which is an important part of the story, something happens to this statue (I can’t mention the details because that would mean giving away the story); I wonder if that can happen in real life; perhaps the director has used some creative licence which is understandable.

Overall Gutthi is a very good film, the suspense and horror has been handled very skillfully, and I liked the way the director Abhishek Chatterji builds the suspense gradually. In the beginning the conversation between the writer and Khalil appears to be slightly verbose, but it is so for a reason and before you realize it you get hooked to the plot and you want to know what will happen next.  I would urge short film enthusiasts to see Gutthi on YouTube, here is the link

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