CAST AND CREW
Production: Stone Bench Creations
Cast: Aravind, Guru Somasundharam, Harish, Rishinanth Rajendran, Sananth Reddy, Sharathkumar, Vijay Sethupathi, Vijaymuthu
Direction: Anil Krishnan, Charukesh Sekar, GopaKumar, Karthik Subbaraj , Monesh, Rathnakumar R M
Distribution: Stone Bench Creations
Karthik Subbaraj’s unique initiative to provide an exclusive platform for short filmmakers is definitely worth applause and the team has successfully managed to bring the concept right from paper to the theaters.
Since the business opportunities in short films are very minimal, filmmakers have the liberty of experimenting or choosing scripts of their free will as the monetary risk involved in it is almost zero.
On that grounds Karthik Subbaraj and team have made sure that they handpicked completely different genres in their six piece compilation comprising of a silent film, an abstract film, a comedic romance, a social message film and a film on a political issue across borders.
But do these movies do justice to the genres they fall under?
The lost paradise, directed by Anil Krishnan, is a movie that attempts to sing an emotional melody without dialogues. Although the movie carries some picturesque visuals along with it, the usage of music and the over dramatization of the emotions might give you the feeling that the film could have been a lot shorter.
Gopa Kumar’s Agavizhi throws you into a series of dreams that are knit in an engrossing manner. The movie is based on the conflict of dreams or thoughts in a sub conscious state.
The director’s ability to construct a little love story with a complex screenplay in a bewildering subconscious setup deserves praises. The dialogues, the music, the variety of shots and the performances of the cast are all of presentable standards.
The third film – Puzhu, directed by Charukesh Shekar is an abstract movie that has a very obscure intent. The movie starts from the middle of a random scene in a random location and takes you through a conversation that has no absolute end. Charukesh’s idea of making a film that is extremely abstract is evident, but one might get the feeling that a little more clarity would have made the movie more interesting.
Nallathor Veenai is a film with a social message directed by Monesh, which deals with child abuse and homosexuality. The director has not shied away from delivering raw visuals to create the desired impact. The film is plain and direct from the start to the end – although not technically sound, it serves its purpose.
Rathnakumar RM’s Madhu meaning liquor as the title animation suggests is a comedy film. Although the irony associated with the lead actress’ name and the title is clichéd, the interesting dialogues and very effective performances by all the actors in the film keep you entertained till the end. The usage of bokeh shots with whatever light was available and some neat camera frames keep the visual experience alive.
The last film in the lot is Karthik Subbaraj’s Neer. The movie is based on the plight of the fishermen of Tamil Nadu and has Vijay Sethupathi playing the role of a fisherman. Although Karthik offers a very simple plot, he portrays the hidden depth of love in relationships with the help of emphatic dialogues.
Bench Talkies deserves a pat on the back for the initiative of pooling in films of different genres.
Verdict: A little more concentration on the content would have justified the overall effort better.