Was sifting through my inbox for some mail, when I chanced upon this short film review I had written for a contest last year somewhere around the Independence Day. Just realized that I hadn't shared it on this space. So here goes...
A nation that is free of foreign rule yet chained by internal ogres - a whole people who no longer serve an imperial power but are slaves to circumstances of poverty, destitution and illiteracy – a freedom that is fettered – the 1-minute movie, Independence, by Neeraj Ghaywan is about the economically and politically liberated India that continues to bleed…
Through the character of a girl trying to make money by selling Indian flags, Neeraj walks us through the paradoxes that our country is torn between. The clichéd gap between the haves and have-nots is a stark reality that many of us try to forget in order to keep our conscience clear.
Though the imagery in the movie is hard hitting, and therefore, deeply unsettling and disturbing, the free entrepreneurial spirit of the girl whose eyes twinkle with hope and steps bounce with the urge to dance forward make me cross my fingers in faith that hers will be a more optimistic flight in life.
And, thus, Neeraj leaves his audience with conflicting emotions of despairing reality and desperate prayers for change.
A powerful and moving one-minute saga, Independence is not a one time must-watch. It is a must keep for a lifetime – a must-watch every time you curse your fate because your long list of wishes could not be fulfilled, every time you think you do not have enough, every time you are blinded by the neon lights of cushioned living, every time you are lost in the maze of money and the rat race, every time your soul feels smug with the camouflaging cob webs you have weaved around your self, every time the calendar reads 15th August and you plan your “holiday”.