Noise - The Rickshawala Is A Short Film You Shouldn’t Miss

Noise  The Rickshawala

This short film presents us with the story of a Rickshawala as he goes about his day in a world filled with anger and hatred.  The official synopsis of the short film describes it as:  “This is the story of Munna, a rikshawala, and Stuti, a young girl, and the anger issues around them. An argument between a couple shows how the anger of a person can transform the lives of others.”

The film is fascinating from the very first frame. It opens with this beautiful shot of  Rickshawala sleeping in his rickshaw as vehicles pass behind him on the road. The dust blowing behind him adds to the beauty of the frame. The whole film is shot in a similar style capturing a very honest and realistic look of the city. The camera is very active throughout the film.

The opening half of this 15-minute short film is by far the most enjoyable for me. To set the tone, the film opens with Munna beginning his day. Seemingly unassuming and content with his lot in life, we come to know this man with a big heart. From the train station, he makes his way to the sabzi mandi, and then to a society, where he picks up Stuti. We are shown a man who maintains his composure in the face of a hectic environment. This dynamic sells the film's anti-hatred message really well.

Despite the beautiful message, the film does have its shortcomings. The idea behind the story is extremely thoughtful and beautiful but unfortunately, the execution hinders the delivery of a said message. The ADR (automated dialogue replacement) for most of the scenes are really off-putting as we hear dialogues that don’t match the actors speaking the lines. On top of this, some of the drama in this film felt a bit forced. Take the bus scene, for example. The conductor of the bus throws out a passenger over some change. The whole thing escalated very quickly and felt a bit over dramatic.

All the moments involving Munna, the Rickshawala, are the most compelling in this film, and this is aided by the fact that all of the sequences with him are the most engaging. Without giving too much away, the plot revolves around a hateful domino effect that starts with one character and spreads throughout the cast. As a result, we have a scene between individuals who are irrationally enraged over seemingly insignificant matters in the film. During one amusing moment, a character stumbles into someone and launches into an expletive-laden tirade of expletives. He went on and on cussing at this guy for the next 2 seconds, even threatening him.

When compared to "Classic" Bollywood, Indian cinema has come a long way in terms of quality. It's no longer restricted to people of a certain geographic region, language, or race, but is available to anybody with even a passing interest in the stories being told.

However, in spite of the best efforts of many outstanding up-and-coming Indian filmmakers, Bollywood continues to hold sway over the Indian film industry and the international view of Indian cinema.  For the rest of the world, Indian films are still viewed as aggressively dramatic narratives with over-the-top action scenes and countless dance routines. There are a number of excellent films that are either made into remakes, edited, or reworked by the directors before they can be presented on the big screen. As a result, the question of whether or not it is Bollywood's fault or the audience's refusal to change may never be resolved.

At least there’s hope for Indian cinema as many filmmakers are taking matters into their own hands and making such beautiful films. So, if you are looking for something new, all it takes is one search on YouTube and you will see whole new world of mind-blowing stories from our very own Indian filmmakers.

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