BOTTOM LINE: Harsh Reality Narrated Engrossingly
|Platform: Youtube||Genre: Drama|
Vidya Balan is the latest celebrated actress to enter the digital platform. After enthralling the audience with versatile roles and riveting performances, cinematically, actress Vidya Balan is making her debut digitally, through the short Natkhat. Incidentally, it also marks her production debut.
Natkhat is a short, simple and enchanting watch which touches on the harsh reality of the gender inequality in the Indian society. The story focuses on the way a small kid is injected with prejudices, and patriarchal mindset right from the start. The home is the key to the development of the world view of a child.
The family setup and the world outside neatly encompass a larger worldview that is identifiable to everyone. It is not the setting as such, which is beautifully and uniquely created in the recent past, in many shorts, but the way the narrative unfolds that makes Natkhat, an engrossing watch.
The idea of getting across the message through a fable, a tale is age-old. The trope has been excellently used here. The way Vidya Balan narrates it, and the visuals that accompany it is where the whole thing works. Everything seems to be neatly put together.
The writing and performance of Vidya Balan is the highlight of the short. She enacts the homely-docile-women-in-a-patriarchal-family stereotype with sheer classiness. The message is passed effectively without turning the narrative overtly dramatic or syrupy. It hits the balance perfectly. The background score towards the end enhances the appeal further.
Apart from Vidya Balan, there are Sanika Patel, Raj Arjun, Atul Tiwari and Sparsh Shrivasthava play essential roles. Sanika Patel, as the impressionable young kid, is okay. It is a little heavy part, and she pulls off both the variations decently. They have very less screen time but are effective in conveying the required emotion.
Shaan Vyas has done a commendable job directing the short. It is plain and straightforward storytelling without anything flashy. The way Vidya Balan’s character is handled shows he could have a bright future ahead with the right content.
Review by Siddartha Toleti