Devi: Short Film Review
Large Short Films (YouTube).
Director: Priyanka Banerjee.
Release Date: 2nd March 2020.
Platform: Large Short Films (YouTube).
“Let’s find out in Large Short Films latest short film, Devi, if women are really allowed to have an opinion and a choice.”
Nine women, distinct in their lifestyle and culture with nine different stories to tell- all connected by two words- rape victims. Cluttered in one room, they are all lost in their own world until the sudden announcement of a newcomer breaks this tranquility. As the hot discussion about adjusting one more person among their crowd ensues, they reveal how each one of them came to be in the room to determine who should stay and who should leave. All of it goes out the window, when they see who the newcomer is.
Devi is a commentary on society’s diabolical nature, where on one hand we consider women as goddesses and worship them but in reality harass them to their limits. The title of the short film works as an oxymoron, portraying the hypocrite nature and disgusting thought process of society towards women.
It’s the age of women empowerment and the entertainment industry has plethora of content spreading awareness about women harassment and the monstrous act of rape. But the eccentric way Devi is directed and told gives a new perspective and depth. The equal amount of importance given to each character and attention to detail in such a short span is surely commendable.
The differences between all the victims cause a scuffle to break out at the drop of a hat. If it was their choice, they wouldn’t be staying cramped up with each other, fighting every next second. It’s a brilliant metaphor for how none of them had a choice in either determining their situation or the circumstances that brought them to it. Nobody wants or chooses to be raped, and the subtle way Devi portrays it is applaud-worthy and jarring.
Also the way the director- Priyanka Banerjee- leaves it to the audience to figure out that the women are all dead, without flat out telling it, shows the confidence in the story as well as the characters. Even the song playing on TV, Jeeya Jaye Na, for the briefest time helps us understand their struggle. Priyanka has very simply yet sublimely captured the harsh truth of rape victims and their hair-raising stories of physically abuse. The efforts to show the dark reality in such a light and simple manner grabs onto you and doesn’t let you go until the end.
Every woman shown differs from one another by a lot of points like age, culture, perception but the pain they have gone through unites them. The story of every woman was visible through the pain in their eyes, uncomfortable body gestures and the fear and hopelessness in their hearts.
Not even a thing!
Devi throws light on the misinterpretation of freedom in the society of behavior towards women by the patriarchal dominance.
Devi is the debut for Kajol to the web entertainment industry.
Also Read: The Lovers: Short Film Review