Anusha Bose might have had a great idea in her mind when she conceptualized her latest short film Shame. The idea would have been to peep into the world of the invisible working class of the posh hotels and what happens when their hidden desires are exposed in the hands of rich people with far more hidden darkness. Sadly, the film she makes does no justice to her concept. It has a tonality that shrills and a treatment that does not know how to moderate itself to remain as sleek as the surroundings it florishes in.
The opening shot of the film is terrific, and immediately reminds you of Shoojit Sircar’s October. Fanny is the efficient housekeeper of the upscale hotel who is prim and proper in everything she does. She is surrounded by luxury, but her desires for the same demand to stay invisible, just like her existence is for the guests around her – guests who are living in the dual convoluted worlds of their own. One fine morning, she crosses the line in an attempt to reach out to her desires, is caught, and from that point on it suddenly changes tracks and becomes an extremely poorly executed revenge drama.
One, Bose doesn’t know where to draw the line, does everything twice over than what’s needed. So even her Fanny is given unnecessary makeup of a heavily pimpled face to stress that she can’t afford skin care. Swara Bhasker playing Fanny is good in the first few minutes, but soon enough her expressions start to bloat and she totally overdoes it when she is the revenge seeking tarnished employee both in her actions and reactions. Its almost like Bose uses the range that Bhasker is capable of, but forgets to define the limits where she wants to take her story and makes it a hyper drama to communicate social justice across. With proper controls, this could have been so much more for Bhasker. Other characters played by Ranvir Shorey, Sayani Gupta, Cyrus Sahukar and Seema Pahwa (why was she even cast for that one insignificant scene?) are all strictly one dimensional and honestly wasted. Its funny how they speak with zero voice modulations as cardboard characters often across the film.
There isn’t any more to write about the film honestly since it turns out to be such a colossal disappointment. You cast big names like the above in a film and then waste them with such typical arcs, and such a poorly written on your face script is honestly such a shame. Possibly the film derives its name from that feeling only!
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