Short film review – Shirish Kunder’s Kriti [Manoj Bajpayee, Radhika Apte, Neha Sharma] – Leaves you speechless
By Joginder Tuteja
That’s what it took me to gather my thoughts and bring myself on to pen down this review. Kriti truly left me numb for a while. I was speechless. First I thought of going through the 19 minute long film all over again. Then I decided to hold on for a little longer and let the feeling to sink in.
Shirish Kunder has nailed it with Kriti, and how!
Some of the observations that I have around the film is that there are so many angles to be explored, so many personality facets to be brought out in open, so many skeletons to be unearthed and so many layers to be unveiled.
Those mysterious mannequins inside the villa, that harmless looking typewriter by the pool, that jukebox in the living room, that set of knives hanging on the wall – Kriti has a lot in there which is a story in itself.
This is exactly the core idea that Shirish Kunder brings in the moment he opens his short film with a psychiatrist session in a classily designed hall. Radhika Apte (stylish and elegant as always) begins a conversation with Manoj Bajpayee (the man with a hood) and enquires if he has something to say. Well, the subject in question does have a lot to reveal. After all, he is in love with a girl. The name is Kriti [Neha Sharma]. Well, the psychiatrist is not quite sure. After all, the man – a writer by profession – has a tendency to live in his own world of creations.
Creation. Kriti. Same same no different.
The suspense factor is set there and then. Is Kriti really the girl of Manoj’s dreams? Is it actually a dream in itself? Is there an imagination coming into play? Or is there a lot more to it after all.
Well, revealing anything more would be giving way to many a spoiler. However, it has to be admitted that Shirish (who is also the editor here) keeps a stranglehold on proceedings and doesn’t let the pace dip down in those 19 minutes. So whether it is the opening conversation between the protagonists or the sequence at the villa where Neha Sharma meets her worst fears or the finale which has at least two major twists to offer, Kriti moves ahead in a serpentine fashion.
Oh yes, a couple of times you do feel that you have cracked the code. In fact you also end up wondering if the story could well be coming to a culmination after around 12 minutes. However, there is a lot more in the offering and this is what makes Shirish’s storytelling really interesting. In this entire narrative, he also scores quite well as a background composer and that only adds on to the drama, thrills, mystery and intrigue. Moreover, the set design is really catchy – both at the office as well as home – which makes Kriti one of the better short films to have arrived online.
As for the performances, Manoj Bajpayee is superb as well. In the beginning portions you do find it a little awkward when the jump cuts aim at focusing on every expression of his from a close angle. In fact it is a little distracting as well. However, in retrospect it all ties in well. As for Radhika, she is very stylishly presented and her impeccable dialogue delivery and acting style makes you believe all over again that she is a woman waiting for so many more exciting opportunities. On the other hand Neha truly deserves to be seen more often. As the vulnerable girl who is trapped in a shocking situation, she gets her act right.
Kriti actually carries the potential to be a 100 minute long feature film. It won’t be a bad idea if Shirish has that on the anvil as well in the coming future.