Sangharsh: Short Film Review
Cast: Piyush Mishra, Mohammed Saud.
Director: Satyarth Shaurya Singh.
Genre: Dystopian Drama.
Channel: Humaramovie (YouTube).
Release Date: 30th April 2019.
Somewhere in the near future, in Alwar, Rajasthan, a mother is writing a poem that talks about unhindered freedom. Cut to a school, boasting propaganda of a political party that believes in the principle of nation above all. A small kid is called in to talk with the principal upon missing a few morning assemblies. The conversation that ensues questions the value of freedom, individuality and nationalism.
- In the face of recent political happenings, Sangharsh is a hard hitting call to reality that boasts of a future where our very essence of being- our democracy – is in danger. We tend to take terms such as freedom and individuality for granted, unless they are threatened. Sangharsh sheds light on a society that gives you no leeway to exercise your basic fundamental rights. It walks the fine line between nationalism and jingoism that seems to be more prominent than ever, in recent times.
- The announcement drill at the beginning goes a long way to grip you in, especially with the line that bans the use of internet. As Murad’s graffiti in Gully Boy said, internet has become a basic necessity along with Roti, Kapda aur Makaan. In the old times, television and radio were put under restriction during emergency, now if it takes place, it will the beloved internet.
- The dystopian film seems to take a great inspiration from the classic novel, 1984 by George Orwell. The novel even makes an appearance in the beginning, setting the tone of the film to follow. Another indication is the use of the phrase “2+2= 5”. The phrase symbolizes delusion and dictatorship; an indication of conformity that the higher power wants you to believe, even if it’s false.
- Sangharsh is metaphorical piece through and through; there’s so much happening between the lines, hidden in the crevices of what actually meets the eye. The use of a particular language, the old school, traditional setting- in spite of it being a futuristic film, the use of numbers to identify a human, strengthens the ridiculous dogma set up by a political party.
- Piyush Mishra’s versatility strengthens his authoritarian character, a person who believes in his principles, no matter how illogical or stigmatized they are, and is ready to go to any lengths to reestablish them in the ‘rebels’. He personifies the term dictatorship with his firm voice and severe looks. The kid, played by Mohammed, on the other hand is the embodiment of a society that’s fighting hard for its freedom, after it’s too late.
- The execution of the plot exalts the story to a whole new level- as profound and harsh the dialogues are, the background music and the visual approach of the film helps drive the point home more effectively. The Sepia tint of the film reinforces the backward thinking of the political organization, while the ghastly, spine-chilling background music sets the score straight.
- As strong & influential the plot and execution is, it somehow lacks the impact and the consistency to keep you on the tight rope of attentiveness. Might be why the execution at the end feels absurd and far-fetched.
Sangharsh is a fiction, a story that resonates with a deep-rooted truth. A must watch!
- Satyarth Shaurya Singh is the founder of Lights On Films, a production house, and a filmmaker who has short films such as Astral, The Bridge, and Alfiya to his credit.
- Piyush Mishra has worked in various short films before; he will be making his debut in Web Series with Applause Entertainment’s tentatively named series, Salt City.
Watch The Short Film Here:
Also Read: Fatafat: Short Film Review