This year, due to the corona virus, the show reached viewers online. Many such films were also screened at the event, which was selected, acclaimed and won awards at national and international festivals. The list of films at this festival running one festival was so long that it was impossible to see all the films. Therefore, the organizers further enhanced the function. The audience was more inclined towards short films due to the greed to see more and more pictures. The ‘Indian Shorts’ category had given preference to many young and new filmmakers this year. Apart from this, Indian filmmakers had a bigger presentation in the short film category than in the documentary and feature films.
The movie ‘Laali’ directed by Abhirup Basu was in the news in this section. ‘Lali’ is a story of loneliness and sorrow. Lali’s central character is a man stuck in a perpetually traditional structure, living in a world of his own making. In this world he has clothes, which he leaves with ridicule. A year ago, the village had a poster of orchestra actress ‘Lali’, a long-necked doll at her village fair and a bottle of wine that crashed into her shop at a certain time every day. With this world and memories he enjoys his isolation. Then one day Lalche enters his life. Lali opens all the soft windows of her life and love begins to enter into her.
The story is not only told in a solitary style but also displayed. It would not be wrong to call the film ‘Solo Performance’. Although there are many supporting characters, their presence cannot be considered as an individual character. Often the actor needs a strong character but Lali is a film where the story demands a good actor. This is why director Pankaj chose Tripathi as the main character in the film. The director of the film Abhirup Basu said, ‘Pankaj Tripathi is the actor Birendra Sehwag. Just as Virender Sehwag does not know how he will play the next ball, Pankaj Sir does not know what he is going to do in the next scene. This is what makes his acting special.
Pankaj Tripathi captures the audience without any decision that creates any naturalness. His naturalness creates amazing reality in this film. Balraj Sahni once said- everyone likes acting when it is normal. The actor may have to do a lot of unnatural things while acting that looks natural to the audience. His point of view differs from the viewer’s point of view. Every actor like this has his own strategy, which he has learned after deep study and long practice.
Not only Virender Sehwag, but also Sachin Tendulkar was in Pankaj Tripathi’s film, it would not be wrong to say that the whole film was made on his shoulders and they acted well.
Regarding the reliance of an actor in the film, director Abhirappa Basu said that he always writes the film with the actor in mind. So when he thought of this film, only Pankaj Tripathi was in his mind. And they are still lucky in this case. In his last short film ‘Khabar’, he got a chance to work with a strong actor like Adil Hussain.
In Lali, Pankaj creates a silent world of acting around him, where he regularly folds his clothes, showing density and stillness, and is seen reacting silently to what is happening around him. Pankaj Tripathi has a summary of the subtle performances of this daily business. If you ignore these specifications, you are probably deprived of the taste of their performance.
Lali is not only acting in the film but also on camera. The camera quietly looks at the main character with his daily life. The first scene of the film is about 9 ½ minutes long without any ‘cut’. In this ‘unnecessary’ scene, the camera doesn’t seem to be moving anywhere, but only stays in one place. This scene doesn’t seem complicated, even though it’s long and slow. Abhirup has used ‘Long Short’ in his ‘Khabar’ film very well before. They believe that cutting the camera at every small interval creates an artificial feeling, which keeps the viewer away from the feeling that you are watching a movie. The stagnation of more or less the same image is also seen in the editing of his films which does not unnecessarily divide the scene into smaller parts.
The sound design of the film is also interesting. The main character in this film is a man who is unconscious about the outside world, fighting against latent loneliness. But somewhere along the line of agreement between one’s own world and the outside world, the film’s sound design remains fixed, bringing the noise and sound of the outside world to the audience, especially when the camera is busy covering the world within the main character.
The story unfolds differently without much ups and downs. Which is reminiscent of the story of Nirmal Verma. Lali shows the profound influence of European films, where everyday life is seen with cinematic beauty.
You must feel indescribable as you go through the film, but in that biology you will see some e-creatures and funny feelings. After watching the film, a poet remembers this line – ‘I will cry that my soul mate is gone’. Lali, despite being a movie, gives you the pleasure of watching the theater, where you can sit on the hook and enjoy Pankaj Tripathi’s solo performance. (Disclaimer: These are the personal opinions of the author))