Zee5 Short Film Festival: Half Full, Strawberry Shake4 min read

Since Zee5 has released 9 short films today, I thought I will speak about two to three short films in one post. Reason? While some films are short, some are super-short. Without revealing the story, I want to tell you how good or bad these films are; for that, a quick review is all we need. Let’s start with the film I was excited the most about, Half Full.

Half Full was my first choice for two reasons:  

  1. Naseeruddin Shah
  2. Vikrant Massey

If you go back and read the very first review on this blog, it was of Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak Shah’s short film, Phir Zindagi, where I have said that ‘these two names are enough to make anyone watch this short film even without revealing the plot. Because neither will their choice of work go wrong nor will their acting skills ever fail to convince us to believe in the message they are delivering.’ This film has one of them, Naseeruddin Shah, so there was no point in not being excited about Half Full. Coming to Vikrant Massey, his web series, The Rise was the reason why I started The Digital Popcorn. While watching the series, I realised that good content is going unnoticed and someone has to put a spotlight on it, and this blog’s journey began. So, the coming together of these two actors was obviously exciting for me. 

Coming back to the short film, it is wonderful, as expected. At the end, it might take some time for the audience to understand what just happened, who was Naseeruddin Shah and why did he leave behind the same suicide note as Vikrant’s. To be very honest, it did confuse me at first. That’s when my sister told me that it was his future coming back to the past and all of it made so much sense. There was already a different plot going on in my mind which is why I couldn’t quickly grab the concept. According to me, Naseeruddin Shah was just another person who might have committed suicide in the recent past. Now he has come to Vikrant to stop him from killing himself, as he did not want someone else to repeat the mistake. But I am glad that the makers did not stick to the predictable plot. This makes it a refreshing watch. 

The message it gives hence becomes crystal-clear. Without any rona-dhona or emotional attyachar, a valid, logical reason is given to everyone and anyone who has ever thought of or is thinking of giving up on life. After watching Half Full, they will surely hold on to life, a little longer, may be long enough for things to start falling into place. 

STRAWBERRY SHAKE

There was a heated discussion at home about how this short film is giving out a wrong message to the youngsters. I see half-truth here. The message wasn’t wrong, it wasn’t delivered in the right way. It’s offensive to every parent. Instead of openly discussing sex with children, parents would rather not bring this topic up with kids after watching Strawberry Shake. They might also entirely give up on the idea of ‘being friends’ with their kids.

No matter how cool you or your parents are, would you, as a girl bring your boyfriend home just for sex when your father is at home? And then, ask your father for a condom as your boyfriend has forgotten it? I am not sure if this is just a cultural shock. I don’t think any father, no matter in which corner of the earth he lives, he would ever be comfortable with his teenage daughter bringing her boyfriend home and having sex in his bedroom, while being locked with him in the same room the entire day, till it turns dark and the boy has to leave for home. 

Strawberry Shake would have been more acceptable even if it would have focused only on the conversation the father and daughter have in the restaurant, after her whole ‘sex’ drama. Such topics need to be handled with utmost care and sensitivity. Unfortunately, inka toh yaha naamo nishan nahi tha.   

Where to Watch? Zee5

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