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Justaju – The Longing: Short Film Review

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Cast: Prakash Jha, Sarika, Shishir Sharma, Saharsh Kumar Shukla, Onkardas Natha, Varun Tewari, Aayushi Lahiri.
Director: Mudassir Mashalkar.
Language: Hindi.
Genre: Drama.
Channel: The Short Cuts (YouTube Channel).
Release Date: 22 November, 2018.

Synopsis: Justaju is about a day in Valmiki’s life, a retired professor whose wife passed away fifteen years ago. After a visit to his doctor friend, he comes across some people and his outlook towards life is changed, and he finds that ‘the cure for pain is in the pain.’

Yay!

  • Prakash Jha has given a powerful performance as Valmiki, depicting the heart-break he still faces after fifteen years of his wife’s death, the solitude and loneliness in a crowd, and the disconnect felt from the city as a whole, in a perfect manner.
  • It is the subtlety and the simplicity of the film that keeps you pulled in, and despite the simplicity, it still leaves you with many questions in your mind. It is minimalism used effectively.
  • It does not engage in blatant preaching about life and its meaning, loneliness, and moving on; but instead decides to show it from a new perspective.
  • Death is beautifully depicted as someone Valmiki wants so much, and whom he encounters multiple times in other forms where death asks him to move ahead in life and not be stuck in time and place, advices that remain unheard until Valmiki actually comes face to face with Death.
  • The little stories that are intertwined within this short film – the man and his son with the poor beggar, and the couple at the station – each portray a lingering emotion that Valmiki is feeling, while also fulfilling the aim of portraying his overall state.
  • The background music is a perfect fit throughout the short film. At no point does it feel that it is a mismatch with the scene or too loud and overwhelming.

Nay!

  • Certain scenes are dragged on for a little longer than necessary. Otherwise, there is nothing bad about this short film.

Bottom Line:

Once in a while, a short film appears that really makes you think. This is one of them.

Trivia:

  • Sarika, who has been mostly a part of films, made her television debut with the show ‘Yudh’, which starred Amitabh Bachchan in the lead role.
  • Prakash Jha has directed a number of films such as Gangaajal, Apaharan, Raajneeti, Chakravyuh, Satyagraha, etc. and was also the producer of Lipstick Under My Burkha.

Watch The Short Film Here:

Also Read:  SHE: Short Film Review

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