Director: Satarupa Sanyal
Cast: Ritabhari Chakraborty, Anurag Kashyap, Agastya Verma
Anurag Kashyap’s onscreen performances – I haven’t seen all – almost always seem to invisibly wink at the audience. The filmmaker is all too aware where the camera is and how it works with actors, and he wears it lightly.
When he makes his first appearance in the short film Fool for Love, he is wearing that I-know-what-you-are-thinking smile. You came in thinking you are watching an Anurag Kashyap short film, whereas you are watching a short film starring Anurag Kashyap. I’m not sure if it was as deliberate on the makers’ part as it was an algorithmic compulsion (the director Satarupa Sanyal’s name doesn’t even appear in the descriptor below), but this element of mystery works in the favour of the story – at least in the segment that features him.
Without giving away much, Kashyap plays the husband of the central character Bittu (Ritabhari Chakraborty), who makes a return the night the film is set in after an unusual period of absence. Or does he? The subjectivity of the narrative, told from Bittu’s point-of-view, is further enhanced by jazz music and whiskey. ‘La Vie en rose’ meets Royal Stag (not so subtle as the folks in Large Short Films might think). This is the film’s most engaging part – and thankfully it’s main part. It has the feeling of clandestine romance conducted in a stolen few hours where the couple make love, fight, cook eggs, be playful, as details about their relationship are dropped at regular intervals.
Chakraborty, who has also written the film, has a softness to her that makes her feel even more vulnerable. The film is set in one of those moodily lit, quaint houses, full of knick-knacks and old furniture. I just wish that Fool for Love had done something more with the ending, which is too abrupt and betrays the flow of the film. The ‘twist’, it intends to stun the viewer with, is not so much a twist in 2019 anymore.
Watch the film here: