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Derma: Short Film Review


Cast: Barun Sobti, Chandra Prakash, Shiny Dixit.
Director: Debatma Mandal.
Language: Hindi, English.
Genre: Thriller.
Channel: Voot.
Release Date: 8th February 2019.


Antony is taking a trip to the mountains on his doctor’s recommendation for anger management and substance abuse. On his way, he stops at a place where an old man does tattoos. Antony agrees to a price and then deceives the artist by paying a lot less and even beats him. What he pays later as Karma is a lot worse and bound to send a shiver down your spine.


  • The concept of the film is quite basic and something we hear quite often: What goes around comes around because Karma is a b*tch. But the way it is represented is what is remarkable. The spine-chilling story leaves you in the conflict of whether to sympathize with the character or believe that he got what he deserved.
  • Certain scenes are conducted with attention to details, which is commendable. For e.g., at the beginning where Anthony gets off the bike, he is seen limping. Riding so long into the snowy atmosphere can do that, and paying attention to it and implanting proves the filmmaker’s aptitude.
  • The cinematography does perfect justice to the noir genre of the film; the sequences have low-key lighting supported by bleak, cynical character. The beauty of the snowclad mountains and valleys adds to the surrealism of the plot.
  • The occasional use of hypnotic music adds to the mystical and suspicious vibe of the film.


  • Barun Sobti does the job well enough, but there could be more improvement. He either seems too into the character or too out of it, failing to grab the attention.
  • Certain scenes can seem out of context and confusing.

Bottom Line:

The twisted tale of a man and his deceitful ways, Derma leaves you horrified and cautious. A must watch foe thriller lovers.


  • Debatma Mandal is a writer and director who has worked on projects such as Jagga Jasoos, Stories by Rabindranath Tagore. He is also the director of another short film from Voot’s Shortcuts, titled Bouma.
  • Barun Sobti has been affiliated with web entertainment with web series such as Hotstar’s Tanhaiyan, and ALTBalaji’s The Great Indian Dysfunctional Family, and could also be seen in a short film titled Dry Dreams.

Watch The Trailer Here:


Also Read: Bouma: Short Film Review


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Shraddha Raut

Dreamer- above all else; I like to read, sleep and overthink, in that order. You'll find me obsessing over Harry Potter, seas, moon, and window seats. If you are as fascinated by The God Of Small Things as me, we can be friends.

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1 Comment

  1. shaira 11th February 2019

    Barun Sobti was top notch as Antony. He did complete justice to the character, the vulnerability of antony.
    Even with barely dialogues, he emoted so well with his eyes & body. he was perfect.
    There was nothing out of context & confusing. it is actually your review which is confusing


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