Written and Directed by: #SushrutBhowmik
Short film review by: Brian Penn
Ever inquisitive, I did some research into the word ‘Bhuyo’ before watching this short feature by Sushrut Bhowmik, particularly in relation to anything that might be considered fake. In Sanskrit Bhuyo means ‘again’ or to attain a level of understanding requiring no further explanation; one’s knowledge is therefore complete. Well I’m paraphrasing a tad here but hope I’ve captured the essence and origins of the phrase. So the film itself is a curiosity with a deeply abstract narrative. However, there’s more than enough going on here to hold the interest.
It begins with a middle aged woman gaining entry to the flat of a mysterious young woman. The pretence for entry is to allow the former to make a call enabling her husband to collect her. This is where the abstract nature of the piece comes to the fore. It’s never entirely clear when, if or how often the story enters analepsis mode or even drops into prolepsis. The chronology if indeed there is one is both confusing and challenging. Apparent dream sequences are broken by random dialogue that continually alters the characters’ motivation. A lugubrious cab driver occasionally appears plying his trade through the night. But where he actually fitted within the narrative continually escaped me.
It is this deficiency of logic that generates more than a passing interest. However, the story’s ambiguity often threatens to ruin the piece. The subtitles aren’t particularly helpful as they often lack grammatical sense and make it even more difficult to follow. But the film is ultimately saved by moments of genuine suspense and an almost creepy sense of anticipation. The lighting and colourisation provide a vivid hue as sequences blend with each other. The second half of the film's title does however suggest something of a curve ball. Is this story really fake and a complete invention of our imagination. Maybe the intention is to leave us wondering whether ‘Bhuyo’ has been achieved. Go figure?