My friend Achyut Chopade, an IT professional turned into a film professional, has come up with another of his short film. I had talked about his earlier award winning short film Ardhaviram here on this blog. I finally got to watch this film titled as Return Gift. It is a Marathi short film with English subtitles. I have been indirectly associated with this film, since the he had narrated the script almost 8-9 months back, during the Sunday when we had gone for watching a play which was being arranged under a new concept of Sunday Morning Breakfast with Play in Pune.
The story of the film is simple. Poor maid’s daughter wishes to celebrate her birthday. And her wishes are gone for toss because of her drunkard father. Film ends on a happy note where, her father goes under transformation and kid gets celebrate her birthday. It is approximately 22 minutes’ short film. It begins with a scene at maid’s shack, where kid is nagging her sleepy mother for celebrating the birthday next day. Next scene is where the duo lands into house where maid works, and incidentally, the house is also busy enjoying birthday party. This where emotional turmoil begins in the mind of the kid which is portrayed beautifully. The maid succeeds in lending money for kid’s birthday. But their plans get shattered due to kid’s father who is habitual drinker. The scenes of loving father and his relationship with his daughter are also portrayed very well, by the actors. The drunkard father realizes his misdeeds and the film ends on happy note and with a power message against liquor abuse and addiction which is a major social issue in the country. To understand what transforms the father, one needs to wait to watch the movie. I don’t want to be a spoiler here.
The film is shot entirely in the housing society where me and Achyut live. I still remember the frantic activities on a fine Saturday of January this year, when he and his team(which includes another friend of mine, Bhushan Kulkarni, who volunteers with me at Schizophrenia Awareness Association-SAA, and a budding film professional and another common friend Atul Khade, amateur photographer) had gathered for a film shooting near my house. It had created much of excitement to onlookers as to what was going on. Achyut had also looked my house for birthday party scenes before going for my neighbor’s house instead. There are many intense scenes, filled with emotions, but during the shooting we did not notice that intensity. The process of making film, and watching it turn into a impacting story is absolutely different experience, and many of use were in awe. The impact it creates is very different when one watches a movie in its entirety.
I will share the short film’s YouTube link once it is made available by Achyut. Don’t miss to watch that to appreciate not only the message but also way it comes across the viewers.